What are ocular (ophthalmologic) symptoms of giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Around 50% of patients with GCA experience visual symptoms over the course of the disease. Initial visual symptoms may be transient and intermittent, typically consisting of unilateral visual blurring or vision loss, often painless, or occasionally diplopia. Alternatively, a partial field defect may progress to complete blindness over days. Patients may experience visual hallucinations, which may precede permanent loss of vision. [62]

Transient repeated episodes of blurred vision are usually reversible, but sudden irreversible loss of vision may occur, especially if treatment is not started promptly. If GCA remains untreated in patients with unilateral vision loss, the second eye may become affected within 1-2 weeks.

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