- amaurosis fugax and visual hallucinations
- The noun amaurosis is Greek for darkening or loss of vision; the adjective fugax comes from the Latin noun fuga, or flight. The term amau-rosis fugax translates loosely as transient blindness. It is used to denote a sudden, painless, temporary loss of vision that can be either partial or total in nature. This loss of vision typically lasts from a few seconds to some minutes. Pathophysiologically, amaurosis fugax has traditionally been classified as a variant of transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Etiologically, it is associated with a variety of embolic, haemodynamic, ocular, and neurological conditions. Amaurosis fugax occurring in the context of epilepsy is referred to with the term " post-ictal amauro-sis. It has been speculated that many of the so-called idiopathic cases of amaurosis fugax are attributable to local vasospasms. Although rare, amaurosis fugax can be accompanied by " visual hallucinations of varying complexity. In a group of 31 individuals with giant cell arteritis, the Israelian physicians Gideon Nesher et al. found 5 subjects with permanent visual loss complicated by visual hallucinations and 1 with amaurosis fugax complicated by visual hallucinations. Such visual hallucinations occurring in combination with visual impairment have also been referred to as " ophthalmopathic hallucinations.ReferencesBacigalupi, O.D. (2006). Amaurosis fugax -A clinical review. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, 4, 1-6.Nesher, G., Nesher, R., Rozenman, Y., Sonnenblick, M. (2001). Visual hallucinations in giant cell arteritis: Association with visual loss. Journal of Rheumatology, 28, 2046-2048.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.