Are You Suffering from Peripheral Vision Loss?

A loss in peripheral vision can be a frightening symptom for any patient. It can be disorienting and cause patients to struggle with everyday activities such as driving and interacting with others. If you are suffering from peripheral vision loss, you may have a pituitary tumor.

Pituitary tumors cause vision and hormonal problems, and are thus usually discovered by an endocrinologist or optometrist. If you believe you may have a pituitary tumor, consult with a surgeon like Dr. Kuperan right away, because if left untreated, it can cause serious and debilitating symptoms.

What are Pituitary Tumors and Their Symptoms? 

Your pituitary gland is the part of your endocrinological system that regulates hormone levels. It is located behind the sphenoid sinus, in the very back of the nasal cavity. Pituitary tumors originate from the pituitary gland, and typically present with a loss of peripheral vision. This is because when the tumors grow, they push against the optic nerves that sit above them. 

There are two types of pituitary tumors: functional and non-functional. Functional tumors release excessive hormones, while non-functional tumors do not. Most of these tumors are benign, which means they do not invade into the surrounding structures or spread to other parts of the body. However, pituitary tumors are extremely serious as they can cause severe and permanent vision loss, as well as damage to the body from abnormal hormone levels if they are left untreated. They can also present the following symptoms:

  • Double vision
  • Severe and newly-onset headaches
  • New changes in hormone levels
  • Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism, acromegaly or Cushing’s disease, such as weight changes, heart palpitations, fatigue, muscle weakness, tremors, hair thinning, and more.

How are Pituitary Tumors Treated?

Patients who believe they may have a pituitary tumor are initially evaluated via lab testing. This allows the rhinologist to asses hormone levels to see if the tumor is functional or not. The rhinologist will then perform visual field tests, as well as a nasal endoscopy to determine if the problem is a sinus tumor invading the sphenoid sinus. The patient will then undergo MRI testing to determine the size and shape of the tumor, and if there is any optic nerve compression. 

At Houston Advanced Nose and Sinus, Dr. Kuperan is able to perform a transnasal minimally invasive endoscopic pituitary tumor resection, in order to treat these tumors. This approach allows Dr. Kuperan to extract the tumor through the nose without leaving any scars. Because the tumors reside in both the sinus and in the intracranial space, the surgery is performed alongside a Neurosurgeon.

If you believe you may be suffering from a pituitary tumor, it is imperative that you consult with a rhinologist such as Dr. Kuperan right away, in order to be treated.

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