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Amaurosis (Greek meaning darkening, dark, or obscure) is vision loss or weakness that occurs without an apparent lesion affecting the eye. It may result from either a medical condition or from excess acceleration, as in flight. The term is the same as the Latin gutta serena.
Amaurosis fugax (Latin: fugax meaning fleeting) is a temporary loss of vision in one eye caused by decreased blood flow (ischemia) to the retina. It may also be caused by embolization from atherosclerotic plaques in the ipsilateral (same side) internal carotid artery. It is a type of transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Those experiencing amaurosis usually experience complete symptom resolution within a few minutes. In a small minority of those who experience amaurosis, stroke or permanent vision loss results. Diabetes, hypertension and smoking are factors known to increase the risks of suffering this condition. It also can be the result of surgical repair to the mitral valve, when very small emboli may break away from the site of the repair, while the patient's tissue grows to cover the plastic annuloplasty band.
Quinidine toxicity can lead to cinchonism and also to quinine amaurosis.
This condition can also occur in ruminants suffering from a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency due to thiamine-related cerebrocortical necrosis (CCN).
Those experiencing amaurosis are usually advised to consult a physician immediately as any form of vision loss, even if temporary, is a symptom that may indicate the presence of a serious ocular or systemic problem.
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