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What causes blindness? 23 possible conditions

Blindness is the inability to see anything, even light. If you’re partially blind, you have limited vision. For example, you may have blurry vision or the inability to distinguish the shapes of objects. Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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2

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages your optic nerve. Learn what causes it.

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3

Retinal Detachment

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye. This is a medical emergency that causes total or partial loss of vision.

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4

Making Sense of Hypertensive Retinopathy

High blood pressure can damage the retina's blood vessels and limit the retina's function. It can also put pressure on the optic nerve.

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5

Cataract

A cataract is a dense, cloudy area that forms in the lens of the eye. It develops slowly and eventually interferes with your vision.

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6

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Macular degeneration is a common eye disorder that causes central vision loss. Learn more about it.

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7

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs as a result of damaged blood vessels of the retina in people who have diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can develop whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. While you ma...

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8

Retinal Vascular Occlusion

Retinal vascular occlusion occurs when one of the vessels carrying blood to or from your retina becomes blocked or contains a blood clot.

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9

Stroke Overview

A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. Learn about the signs of a stroke and what to do.

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10

Optic Neuritis

The optic nerve carries visual information from your eye to your brain. Optic neuritis (ON) is when your optic nerve becomes inflamed, causing vision loss.

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11

Chlorine Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Chlorine poisoning can occur when you swallow or inhale chlorine. It reacts with water inside and outside of the body to form dangerous compounds. It can cause digestive, respiratory, skin, and circulatory problems.

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12

Strabismus

Strabismus is a disorder in which the eyes do not line up in the same direction. People with strabismus cannot look at the same object or place with both eyes at the same time. The condition is often referred to a...

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13

Intracranial Hemorrhages

Intracranial hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition in which you have bleeding inside your skull.

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14

Vertebrobasilar Circulatory Disorders

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Vertebrobasilar circulatory disorders are a group of diseases in which not enough blood is supplied to the back of the brain. Read about the symptoms.

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15

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) refers to bleeding within the subarachnoid space, which is the area between your brain and the tissues that cover it.

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16

Brain Aneurysm

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An aneurysm in the brain is a weak area in an artery in the brain that bulges out and fills with blood. It can be unpredictable and life-threatening, and can cause extremely serious conditions.

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17

Tay-Sachs Disease

Tay-Sachs disease is a neurodegenerative disorder most commonly found in infants. Learn more about this rare disease.

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18

Eye Emergencies

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

If you have an injured eye or a foreign object in your eye, you'll likely need to seek medical attention right away. Here's what to look out for in eye emergencies.

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19

Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome

Basal cell nevus syndrome is a group of defects caused by a rare genetic condition. Learn about the symptoms and treatments for basal cell nevus syndrome.

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20

Ito Syndrome (Incontinentia Pigementi Achromians)

Ito syndrome (IS) is a rare condition that researchers believe iscaused by genetic irregularities. The conditionis not inherited, however,and a family history of IS is rare. IS is characterized by loss of skin color o...

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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