by Dr. Lisa Shin
Early in my career, I saw a 18 year old man who came in for an eye exam because he needed more contact lenses. His vision was 20/20 in both eyes, with no change in contact lens prescription. I dilated his eyes, which means the pupils are enlarged to look at the retina. The appearance of his optic nerve prompted me to recommend a peripheral vision test. This test showed peripheral vision loss indicating a much more serious condition. An MRI was ordered and a pituitary tumor was diagnosed. Pituitary tumors press on the optic nerve in your brain. The next day, the neurosurgeon performed surgery to remove the tumor, which was so large that it was a complicated, risky surgery. Thankfully, Petty survived the surgery and his peripheral vision slowly came back. Pituitary tumors can not only impact your vision, they can cause permanent hormone deficiency and diabetes mellitus. A rare complication of a pituitary tumor is sudden bleeding into the tumor, which can cause serious neurological impairments.