Retinal Vein Occlusion

Retinal vein occlusion happens when one of the blood vessels leading from the retina is blocked. This can lead to vision loss as the blockage, depending on severity, limits and even stops oxygen from reaching the retina’s cells.

What Is Retinal Vein Occlusion?

A retinal occlusion means that one of the blood vessels that supports your retina is blocked by a clot, the hardening of the blood vessels, or small pieces of cholesterol. 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 exchange of nutrients and waste from the eye.

This is a serious condition characterized by blurry or distorted vision in all or part of the visual field and even severe vision loss. Changes in your vision, especially sudden ones, should not be ignored. Seek treatment immediately.

A retinal vein occlusion (RVO) affects the blood vessels that carry blood away from the retina. When a vein becomes blocked, blood cannot exit, which, as blood builds up in the retina, causes swelling. The swelling, in turn, leads to vision loss. Blockages can be partial or complete and will determine the severity of vision loss.

An RVO is divided into two types: central and branch, depending on which type of vein is being affected. Central retinal vein occlusion means the main vein is blocked, while branch indicates blockage of a smaller vein.

Treatments for Retinal Vein Occlusion

Prevention is the best treatment for retinal vein occlusion. Maintaining good overall health and managing underlying conditions such as glaucoma and diabetes helps prevent blockages in the blood vessels that support your retina.

Even though the visual prognosis can be poor for a retinal vein occlusion, several treatment options are still available to help preserve your vision. By partnering together on a regular basis, the retina care team at Vance Thompson Vision will work with you to create a care plan for your specific condition and overall health.

Breakthroughs are constantly emerging. Vance Thompson Vision is committed to research that furthers ophthalmology care, and retina research in particular is a fast-growing field.

Monitor Your Vision at Home

Patients with retinal vein occlusion can monitor their vision by downloading and printing their own Amsler chart. Post yours in an easy-to-see place such as your refrigerator for a daily check of your visual acuity. Step-by-step instructions are included with your download.


What to Expect

Vance Thompson Vision has a world-class retina team that brings a wealth of experience to retinal care.

A retinal vein occlusion is considered an emergency, so please call our office as soon as possible if you are experiencing sudden blurry or distorted vision or loss. We’re here to help and will see you in our clinic as soon as possible.

Most appointments begin with extensive testing and measurements on your eyes. With the information provided by testing, the doctor will meet with you to discuss your diagnosis, which treatments are available, and to help you determine the best next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between retinal artery occlusion and retinal vein occlusion?

Both conditions refer to a blockage in one of the blood vessels that keep your retina healthy. Artery occlusion affects the vessels that carry blood to the retina while vein occlusion affects the vessels that carry blood away from it.

What causes retinal occlusion?

Retinal occlusion is caused by a variety of factors including age, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and heart disease.

How is retinal vein occlusion treated?

Treatment for retinal vein occlusion is dependent on several factors and can be influenced by underlying conditions. Schedule an appointment at Vance Thompson Vision to learn your options.

What are the symptoms of retinal vein occlusion?

Blurry or distorted vision in some or all of the visual field and even severe vision loss are symptoms of this condition. Changes in your vision should not be ignored. Contact Vance Thompson Vision as soon as possible.

Ready for help?

Early intervention truly is the best treatment. Call our friendly, professional team today to schedule your retina consultation.

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