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Im worried that my central vision is affected after using

Customer Question
amyl nitrate..what has happened and...
Im worried that my central vision is affected after using amyl nitrate..what has happened and will it repair itself?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/26/2010
Eye Doctor: Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist replied 6 years ago
Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,286
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
Verified
Dr. James :

Hello.

Dr. James :

It appears you are offline. I will wait for your response.

Customer:

hello

Dr. James :

Hello.

Dr. James :

Please Note:
JustAnswer is a public forum. Information provided is for educational purposes & does not establish a patient-physician relationship nor substitute for a personal consultation with a physician.

Do you understand those terms?

Customer:

Yes

Dr. James :

Thank you.

Dr. James :

First a few questions.

What you describe the vision problems?
How long have you been on the nitrate?
When did the vision problem occur?
One eye or both eyes?
Why do you take the amyl nitrate?

Customer:

the problem is similar to getting blinded by a bright light or the sun. It has been a couple od days

Customer:

both eyes, I was taking 'poppers' for sexual pleasure (amyl nitrate)

Dr. James :

How is your vision now?
How old are you?
What other medicines were you taking currently or at that time? Viaga, cialis...?

Customer:

Vision is the same now as past two days, I am 42 years old, fit and healthy, no other medications

Dr. James :

Same meaning normal?
Or is it same meaning still blurry?
Can you see the TV ok? Problems reading?

Customer:

Same meaning blurry, find reading difficult, letters on computer keyboard difficult to see, TV a bit blurry but not too bad

Dr. James :

Amyl nitrate is typically used to treat people with heart conditions. It works by increasing blood flow through the blood vessels. When you are participating in strenuous activity such as intercourse, the blood vessels naturally enlarge. Both of these effects can cause a drop in blood pressure and deprive the eye of much needed oxygen.

Dr. James :

This is the mechanism by which your vision can be affected.

Dr. James :

It goes unsaid that you should see an ophthalmologist for a detailed examination to assess the functioning of your retina.

Dr. James :

It is difficult to answer the question of how soon or whether if your eye will repair itself because it depends on the severity..

Dr. James :

If the drop in pressure is brief, then you can have a momentary blackout and then the vision returns as soon as the blood flow returns.

Dr. James :

If the drop in blood pressure is longer, then there may be more damage.

Dr. James :

You should abstain from any strenuous activity and any further amyl nitrate use.

Dr. James :

I'd recommend you call your ophthalmologist on the first available business day.

Customer:

okay thank you

Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2,286
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
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Eye Doctor: Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist replied 6 years ago
Hello.

Just a little more information about "poppers" and blurry vision. Aside from a drop in blood pressure, there may also be a direct toxic effect of the amyl nitrate to the retina. You can read the link below that discusses similar cases in other patients.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1005118


If you notice a worsening vision, then call your doctor promptly.
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Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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