A scotoma is a break or interruption in the visual field. The plural of the word is not scotomas, as one might think, but is scotoma. A scotoma can occur in one eye or both, in the center or at the outer edges of the visual field, and can occur alone or there can be several. It can be temporary, but in the majority of cases, it's permanent. There are many possible causes of scotoma, and it can be a very debilitating and life-altering disorder.
Many disorders can cause scotomas. Temporary scotomas are usually caused by brain disorders such as a seizure, migraine, or reduced blood flow.
Fixed, permanent blind spots can be caused by disorders of:
A blind spot that is growing is often the sign of a retinal detachment. The layers of the retina are separating, and this can cause loss of vision. You will need prompt surgery to prevent blindness in the eye.
Total color blindness is present from birth and is associated with a central scotoma. All colors appear to be grays of different brightness, and central vision is reduced. Macular degeneration, diabetes, and eye injuries can also cause central scotomas.
Scotoma symptoms depend on the causative factors, but a few common symptoms include:
Aura in vision can be detected through various methods. These include visual field tests and dilated eye exams.
Visual Field Tests
Also known as a Humphrey visual field test, this procedure involves staring into a bowl-shaped instrument. An eye care specialist performs the procedure and later examines a detailed visual field map of your eyes produced by the machine.
Dilated Eye Exams
Part of the automated visual field test may include dilating your pupils with eye drops. The eye specialist then examines the eye, specifically the optic nerve and retina. This examination can also help determine the type of scotoma.
Alternatively, evaluate based on visual impairment due to scotoma, if that would result in a higher evaluation.
Minimum, with scotoma affecting at least one-quarter of the visual field (quadrantanopsia) or with centrally located scotoma of any size
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