A Diagnosis of Anemia

by Dr. Karl Stoler

26 year old woman came in for an eye exam.   She reported blurry vision for the past few weeks, but her best corrected visual acuities were 20/25 in both eyes.   Dilation of the eyes revealed hemorrhages in both eyes, with exudates (which occur with leakage from damaged blood vessels).    She was referred to the retinal specialist, who then sent her to the primary care physician.   She was diagnosed with severe anemia. 

Anemia is a condition in which your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells.   Cells in your body don’t get enough oxygen and your organs won’t get what they need to function properly.   Severe or long-lasting anemia can damage your heart, brain, and other organs in your body.  Symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, or headaches.     Treatment for anemia depends on the underlying cause.   Anemia caused by iron deficiency is treated with iron supplements.

American Academy of Ophthalmology: retinal hemorrhages due to anemia