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 layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain. Specifically, it is the second most common cause of blindness from retinal vascular disease after diabetic retinopathy.
The location of the occlusion influences the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and management of RVO. Occlusion of the central retinal vein at the level of the optic nerve is referred to as central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Occlusion at the primary superior branch or primary inferior branch involving approximately half of the retina is referred to as hemi-retinal vein occlusion (HRVO). Obstruction at any more distal branch of the retinal vein is referred to as branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).
Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal Vein Occlusion usually occur because your arteries harden and cause a clot, much like a stroke. Blockages are more common in people with conical or damaged blood vessels, or those with chronic conditions that cause them. Such diseases include:
- Atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries
- Glaucoma, which is optic nerve damage that’s usually caused by increased pressure
- Macular edema, which is fluid leakage into the macula, or the area of the retina that allows for sharp focus
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Blood disorders that affect clotting
- People over the age of 60
- People who smoke
Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusion
The primary symptom of Retinal Vein Occlusion is a blurring or loss of vision that’s usually sudden in onset and generally in only one eye. If it isn’t treated, the blurring or loss of vision usually gets worse in hours or days. Sometimes, you’ll see dark spots or floaters, which are minute clumps of cells or material floating in your eye. In severe cases, a blocked vein will build up pressure and cause pain in your eye.
Diagnosis of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Tests to evaluate for Retinal Vein Occlusion include:
- Exam of the retina after dilating the pupil
- An eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina and choroid.
- Intraocular pressure
- Pupil reflex response
- An eye exam that measures a person’s prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses
- Retinal photography
- Slit lamp examination
- Testing of side vision (visual field examination)
- Visual acuity test to determine the smallest letters you can read on a chart
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT).
- Fluorescein angiography.
Other tests may include:
- Blood tests for diabetes, high cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
- Blood tests to look for a clotting or blood thickening (hyperviscosity) problem (in patients under age 40)
Treatment of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Some of the Treatments for Retinal Vein Occlusion include:
- Intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs.
- Intravitreal injection of corticosteroid drugs.
- Focal laser therapy.
- Pan-retinal photocoagulation therapy.
By : Natural Health News