What Is Retinal Vein Occlusion?

Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. The retina is the innermost, light-sensitive layer of tissue of the eye of most vertebrates and some molluscs. A blockage in the retina’s main vein is referred to as a central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), while a blockage in a smaller vein is called a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). The retina is covered with special nerve cells which convert light into signals that are sent via the optic nerve to the brain, where they are recognized as images. Conditions that affect the retina affect the ability to see. Retinal artery occlusion is sometimes called an eye stroke. This can give you blurry vision or even sudden permanent blindness in that eye.

The damage happens when a blocked vein keeps blood from draining from the retina.

It can also be caused when arteries get hardened (atherosclerosis) and the form of a blood clot and When a small blood clot blocks the flow of blood through one of the arteries in the brain, and the area that is not getting blood becomes damaged.

Other risk conditions for retinal vein occlusion are:

  • Heart problems, including irregular rhythm or valve issues Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Signs and Symptoms:
    The symptoms can vary from subtle to very obvious.

  • Blurred sight or loss of vision, Sometimes there is a complete loss of vision almost immediately.
  • Dark spots or lines floating in your vision
  • Diagnosis:
    Retinal vein occlusion is usually diagnosed after an eye specialist (an ophthalmologist) examines the back of your eye, using an ophthalmoscope. There are broadly three types of examinations performed to diagnose retinal vein occlusion.

    Optical coherence tomography:
    This gives a very detailed 'cross-sectional' image of the layers of the retina, depicting where swelling and damage is, and how severe it is.

    Fluorescein angiography:
    Fluorescein angiography is a technique used for examining the circulation of the retina and choroid (parts of the fundus) using a fluorescent dye and a specialized camera. Special photographs allow the physician to see the vessels.

    The changes caused by RVO may be seen by examination of the retina with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope.

    There is no definite way to unblock retinal veins. However, your doctor can treat any further complications and protect your vision. There are chances that vision may come back after being treated from RVO.

    Laser surgery:
    Doctors may recommend this if there are blood vessels grown in your eye. They will use a laser to make tiny burns on the retina. It stops the vessels from leaking and growing.

    Intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs:
    These drugs target vascular endothelial growth factor, which is an important growth factor that causes macular edema.

    These are also given by injection into the eye. The injections often need to be repeated because their effect wears off as your body 'clears' them from the eye.

    Visit eye specialist on a regular basis It is important to detect changes in your condition and formulate treatment plans as needed. Treating high blood pressure Reducing high cholesterol levels and stop smoking Control of diabetes