Sudden Blindness

rDVM Quick Reference Guide for this Ophthalmic Emergency

  • Physical Examination
  • Neurologic Examination
  • CBC/Chemistry
  • Blood Pressure
  • Evaluate IOP
  • Systemic Anti-Inflammatories
  • Refer For Specialist Evaluation and Treatment

Sudden blindness can occur as a result of ophthalmic or neurologic diseases. Brief physical and neurological examinations and evaluation of intraocular pressures by rebound/applanation tonometry should be performed. Further assessment can include CBC/Chemistry and potentially specific infectious or immune testing, blood pressure evaluation, electroretinography, ocular ultrasound, and/or cranial imaging. Treatment will depend on the specific underlying disease or condition. Systemic steroidal or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (depending on the patient’s health and physician preference) may be advisable. Referral for specialist evaluation and treatment is recommended.