Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain.
What is Retinal Vein Occlusion?
Retinal Vein Occlusion is usually seen in most eye care offices. They are second only to diabetic retinopathy as a cause of visual loss due to retinal vascular disease. Retinal vein occlusions grow from obstruction of the venous outflow from the eye.
When a Retinal Vein Occlusion is blocked, it cannot drain blood from the retina. This leads to hemorrhages (bleeding) and leakage of fluid from the blocked blood vessels. There are two types of retinal vein occlusion: Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is the blockage of the main retinal vein. Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) is the blockage of one of the smaller branch veins.
Key Facts of Retinal Vein Occlusion
- A condition in which the retina can become severely impaired due to the blockage of blood vessels in the eyes
- In severe cases it can eventually lead to blindness
- Veins that take blood away from the retina get obstructed
- Atherosclerosis, Diabetes and High blood pressure (hypertension) are all risk factors for this illness
- If this condition progresses untreated it can also lead to other eye problems such as glaucoma, macular edema (leakage of fluid in the retina), or vitreous hemorrhage
Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Just like a stroke causes damage to further parts of the body when blood circulation fails Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusion damage to the eye. When the blood flow to the retina is blocked oxygen and nutrients cannot reach it and a haemorrhage occurs.
Following are some of the root Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusion:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Branch veins in the retina becoming blocked
- Being overweight or obese increased body mass index
- Cardiovascular (heart) disease
- Blood vessels growing unusually in the front part of the eyes
- In younger patients who suffer BRVO an abnormal tendency to develop blood clotting is also potential
Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusion may only mild visual loss in some cases or very profound visual loss in others. Some people who only have a slight blockage of a branch retinal vein may not have somewhat symptoms.
Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusion
The key Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusion is a sudden, painless loss of sight in one eye which may become regulator or more blurry over the course of numerous hours or days.The most common symptom of a retinal vein occlusion is vision loss or blurring in part or all of one eye. The vision loss or blurring is painless and may happen unexpectedly or become worse over several hours or days.
Some of the most common Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusion include:
- Marked loss of vision due to haemorrhage in the vitreous fluid
- Partial loss of vision in partial occlusion
- Floaters are seen when there is a small amount of haemorrhage in the vitreous fluid. These are seen as small dark spots in the field of vision
- In serious cases of CRVO the blocked vein may cause increased pressure in the eye, which may be painful
- 45% of CRVO grow neovascular glaucoma. This kind of glaucoma is caused when abnormal blood vessels start to grow
Another Symptom of Retinal Vein Occlusion is floaters. Floaters can look like as spots which interfere with vision. When retinal blood vessels are not working properly the retina may grow abnormal blood vessels that are fragile. They can bleed or leak fluid into the vitreous causing the floaters.
Diagnosis of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Diagnosis of Retinal Vein Occlusion is based upon the retinal examination findings of intraretinal hemorrhages, dilated veins and frequently cotton wool spots often described as a "blood and thunder appearance". There may be macular edema as well present.
We will ask you about your signs and examine your eyes. If we suspect a Retinal Vein Occlusion the examination will include the following tests:
- Tonometry: This is a usual measurement of intraocular pressure
- Ophthalmoscopy: We use a strong light and magnifying lens to examine your retina and macula
- Visual Acuity Test: This tests the forte of your central vision by requiring you to read letters on a wall chart some distance away
- Fluorescein angiogram/optical coherence tomography: A fluorescein angiogram allows us to look closely at the blood flow in the vessels in your eyes
Prognosis of Retinal Vein Occlusion
The Prognosis of Retinal Vein Occlusion depends on the type of disorder and the extent of progression previous to medical intervention:
- About 60% of individuals with Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion can be able to retain 20/40 vision after 1 year
- In non-ischemic Central Retinal Vein Occlusion, the outcome is usually good with return of vision to normal or near normalcy in about 50% of the persons following treatment
Complications of Retinal Vein Occlusion
There are some Complications of Retinal Vein Occlusion that can develop if you have retinal vein occlusion which may lead to worsening visual loss.
The potential Complications of Retinal Vein Occlusion of severe or untreated Retinal Vein Occlusion may include:
- Permanent loss of vision
- Macular edema swelling of area of the retina that is complicated in vision
- Vitreous hemorrhage: A situation in which the new vessels formed are friable and tend to bleed
Risk Factors of Retinal Vein Occlusion
There are a number of common Risk Factors of Retinal Vein Occlusion for this damage to retinal veins and therefore occlusions.
The main Risk Factors of Retinal Vein Occlusion are:
- Age most retinal vein occlusions happen in people over 60
- High blood pressure
- Inflammation of the veins
- High blood lipid levels
- Some rare blood disorders that reason a greater-than-normal tendency for the blood to clot
Even though nothing can be done about our age all the other risk factors can be controlled.
Key Points of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Key Points of Retinal Vein Occlusion include are:
- Retinal vein occlusion includes blockage by a thrombus
- You are greater risk if you are older or have high blood pressure, glaucoma or diabetes
- Patients have painless loss of vision that is usually sudden and may have risk factors
- Treat patients who have macular edema with an intraocular injection of an anti-VEGF drug or intraocular injection of a dexamethasone implant or triamcinolone
- You are as well at higher risk if your blood is thicker and stickier than normal
Prevention of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Prevention is a major part of treatment meanwhile the condition is usually brought on by things that can be controlled. Retinal vein occlusion is an indication of a general blood vessel (vascular) disease. Measures used to prevent other blood vessel diseases may reduction the risk of retinal vein occlusion.
These measures include:
- Not smoking
- Getting regular workout
- Eating a low-fat diet
- Maintaining an ideal weight
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- Make sure that your blood pressure is in control by avoiding foods that cause increase in blood pressure
- Control your diabetes well by avoiding sugary & carb rich foods
- Quit smoking if you are a heavy smoker
- Reduce high cholesterol levels if they are raised
- Get into daily exercise routine
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