Scotomas are black or colored spots, sometimes sparkling, that appear in the visual field when the sensitivity of the retina decreases, thus reducing the efficiency of the view. The problem may affect one or both eyes and can have various causes, from retinal detachment disorders of the optic nerve, through glaucoma, cataracts, macular disease, ischemia and injury, but also poisoning or brain tumors. Rarer is the case where the scotoma is the side effect of a medication. Scintillating scotoma may instead be a sign of a migraine with aura coming.

The scotoma is negative when the presence of a dark spot does not allow perceive or perceive only partially objects. The scotoma is rather positive when you feel a spot color and brightness variable intermittent. In addition to their causes the scotoma can take various forms. Those roundish are generally typical of retrobulbar neuritis, while ovals are those associated with intoxications. Retinitis pigmentosa is instead associated with the annular scotoma and the disseminated choroiditis gives scotomas mosaic.


What kind of diseases can be associated with scotoma?

The following diseases may be associated with scotoma:

  • Cataract
  • Nuclear cataract
  • Headache
  • Disseminated choroiditis
  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Migraine
  • Glaucoma
  • Optic neuritis
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for scotoma?

In case of permanent damage there is no cure to eliminate blind spots. However a proper rehabilitation can help recover some visual function. You can also resort to remedies that can control the specific situation of the problem of the appearance of the scotoma. In case of glaucoma, for example, hypotonic eye drops can be useful, in other cases, the doctor may prescribe instead anticoagulants or thrombolytic agents. The problems associated with cataract and retinal detachment may instead be solved by a surgical intervention, while laser therapy can prevent the complications of retinal vascular pathologies.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of scotoma?

Typically scotoma begins to be noticeable when it has already significantly damaged the eye. Therefore it is important to consult an ophthalmologist as soon as you notice spots in the vision or undergo regular checks in order to detect its presence before it interferes with the view.