What Is Retinal Artery Occlusion?
A retinal occlusion means that one of the blood vessels that supports your retina is blocked by a clot. In a healthy retina, nutrient-rich blood enters through the central retinal artery and drains the nutrient-poor blood back out through the central retinal vein. A blockage interrupts the regular delivery of nutrients and clearing of waste from the eye.
This is a serious condition characterized by sudden, severe vision loss that can be permanent. Changes in your vision, especially sudden ones, should not be ignored. Seek treatment at Vance Thompson Vision immediately.
A retinal artery occlusion (RAO) affects the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina. When an artery becomes blocked, the nutrients and oxygen that keep the retina healthy cannot be delivered. This deprivation can cause retinal cells to die. Blockages can be partial or complete and will determine the severity of vision loss.
There are two types of retinal artery occlusion: central and branch. These categories tell which type of artery is blocked. A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) affects the main artery while a branch retinal artery occlusion affects one of the smaller, “feeder” arteries stemming from the central artery. A central artery occlusion is often caused by a clot that was swept into the retinal arteries and should be cause for a full physical to determine if there are other places in the body where clots are present.
Treatments for Retinal Artery Occlusion
Treatments for CRAO are often ineffective because the loss of blood supply causes irreversible damage to the retina within minutes. However, even though there’s no way to restore lost vision, the conditions that result from CRAO can often be treated to help prevent additional complications. Regular check-ups are important to identify resulting conditions in their earliest stages.
Even though a definitive treatment for retinal artery occlusion has not been discovered yet, breakthroughs are constantly emerging. Vance Thompson Vision is committed to research that furthers ophthalmology care for its patients.