A history of persistent headaches and visual loss in an elderly patient may be a sign of impending irreversible bilateral blindness. A relevant history and careful clinical assessment are essential in making a diagnosis.
A 78-year-old man presented with sudden onset of blindness in his left eye. He had been unwell for four weeks, with headaches as well as aches and constant pains in his limbs. He had not had much sleep during this period.
The patient wore a hearing aid but enjoyed relatively good health. He gave no history of hypertension or diabetes, was a nonsmoker and was not taking any regular medications. He was philosophical about his blindness but wondered whether it could occur in the right eye.