What is the prevalence of transient vision loss (TVL)?

Updated: May 21, 2019
  • Author: Andrew J Tatham, MD, MBA, FRCOphth, FEBO, FRCS(Ed); Chief Editor: Andrew G Lee, MD  more...
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Worldwide, transient vision loss is uncommon. Transient visual disturbance is more common in adults than in children. In addition, its etiologic profile in adults differs from that in children.

Migraine, a common cause of transient vision loss at all ages, is more common in females than in males. In the United States, the 1-year prevalence of migraine is 14-18% in females and 6% in males, although the female predominance is not seen until after menarche. [25] In children younger than 7 years, boys are affected by migraine approximately as often or slightly more often than girls are. [26]

Medically unexplained visual symptoms are more common in women than in men. According to Griffiths et al, of those affected with medically unexplained (nonorganic) visual loss, 79% are female and 21% are male. [27] Of these patients, 36% had been seen by other medical specialists with unexplained symptoms. Improvement in visual function varies with age, symptom duration, early treatment, employment status, and psychiatric history but generally completely resolves in 42%-44% of cases. [28, 29]

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