Retinal vein occlusion

Retinal vein occlusion occurs if there is blockage since it could not empty blood from the retina. This results to bleeding and drainage of fluid form the obstructed blood vessels.

Types of occlusion

  • Central retinal vein – involves obstruction of the major retinal vein
  • Branch retinal vein – there is blockage in one of the smaller branch veins

It is important to note that the nerve cells require a continuous supply of blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients which is provided by the blood vessels.

Retinal vein occlusion

Initially, the blurriness or vision loss might be minor but progresses over the next few hours or days. Oftentimes, there is full vision loss immediately.

Why does retinal vein occlusion occur in some people?

Retinal vein occlusion occurs once a blood clot obstructs the vein. Oftentimes, it arises since the veins in the eye are constricted. It is likely to occur among individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health issues affecting the blood flow.

What are the indications?

The signs of retinal vein occlusion vary from mild to severe. There is also painless blurring or loss of vision. In most cases, only one eye is affected. Initially, the blurriness or vision loss might be minor but progresses over the next few hours or days. Oftentimes, there is full vision loss immediately.

In case these symptoms arise, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor right away. Take note that retinal vein occlusion often leads to lasting damage to the retina and vision loss. In some cases, it can cause other eye conditions.

Management

It is sad to note that there is no method to unclog the retinal veins. Nevertheless, the doctor can treat health conditions that are associated to the occlusion.

The vision might return in some eyes that have retinal vein occlusion. Some cases show improvement which remain the same and steadily improve but in some, it might take a year or longer to determine an outcome.

In some cases, the obstructed vessels might progress to fluid buildup in the retina. In other instances, the ischemia can lead to the development of new blood vessels.

Some of the treatment options for retinal vein occlusion include the following:

  • Intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs
  • Focal laser therapy – lasers are utilized on swollen sites to lessen the edema
  • Intravitreal shot of corticosteroid drugs
  • Pan-retinal photocoagulation therapy – this option is utilized if the individual has formation of new blood vessels after the occlusion

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