Does a Patient's Blurry Vision Signal a Serious Condition?

Andrew N. Wilner, MD


December 11, 2018

Clinical Presentation

A 38-year-old white woman came to the emergency room complaining of painful, blurry vision in the left eye for 2 weeks. A review of her symptoms uncovered an episode of right arm numbness 2 years prior that resolved after 1 week. There were no bowel or bladder symptoms.

Her past medical history was unremarkable. She takes no medications, has no allergies, and doesn't smoke or drink. She has two children, is single, and is unemployed.

Ophthalmologic examination revealed 20/20 vision in the right eye and 20/400 in the left eye on the Snellen chart. There was no papilledema. The rest of her neurologic examination was normal. Routine laboratories including complete blood count, chemistry panel, international normalized ratio, and rapid plasma reagin were normal.

Hospital Course

The patient was admitted for 3 days of Solu-Medrol treatment with a diagnosis of left-eye optic neuritis.


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