Partly reversible visual failure with methanol toxicity

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1992 Feb;20(1):57-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1992.tb00705.x.


Methanol is a highly toxic substance which is used as an industrial solvent and in automotive antifreeze. If accidentally ingested blindness or death may result. The case of a young woman who developed sudden onset of visual failure following ingestion of a methanol-fortified beverage is presented. Although she failed to seek immediate medical help visual function improved. Acute changes of bilateral optic disc hyperaemia and venous engorgement were present at initial examination. She subsequently developed optic disc atrophy together with glaucomatous-like cupping of the optic discs. The aetiology of visual failure in methanol poisoning is discussed, as are the current therapeutic guidelines in the management of acute cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Methanol / poisoning*
  • Optic Atrophy / chemically induced
  • Optic Nerve Diseases / chemically induced
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Scotoma / chemically induced
  • Vision Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields


  • Methanol