Amaurosis fugax is the medical term for a temporary loss of vision that occurs when blood flow to the retina is impeded. It is not a disease but an umbrella term for the symptoms that cause this effect and is usually a symptom of another disorder. The loss of vision lasts only a short amount of time, thirty seconds to five minutes, and there are no other effects associated with it. Amaurosis fugax is also known as transient monocular blindness or TMB. It is associated with carotid artery disease.
Amaurosis fugax has a variety of causes. A blood clot can block the artery that travels to the eye. A piece of plaque from the arteries surrounding the heart can also cause a clot. Other disorders that may increase the likelihood of developing temporary loss of vision include polyarteritis nodosa, brain tumor, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and head injuries.
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