The retina receives oxygen and nutrients from blood that comes from the arteries, and once the oxygen is released the blood returns to the heart through the veins of the retina. A retinal vein occlusion occurs when one of these veins becomes blocked. When this happens, the vein cannot drain the blood back to the heart and this leads to hemorrhages (bleeding) and leakage of fluid between the retina producing blurred vision that gets worse in hours or days in the affected eye.

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

A retinal vein occlusion is similar to a stroke, although of less magnitude. If it is not treated immediately, it can result in severe vision damage.

Risk factors for a retinal vein occlusion include:

  • brightness_1  High blood pressure
  • brightness_1  Diabetes
  • brightness_1  High cholesterol levels
  • brightness_1  Smoking
  • brightness_1  Glaucoma

Capillary Nonperfusion in a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

If you are over 50 years old and suddenly have blurred vision in one of your eyes, you should be seen immediately by an Ophthalmologist specialized in the Retina.

It is often necessary to perform studies such as retinal angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to understand the magnitude of the damage and then determine the best treatment.

Currently, treatment for a retinal vein occlusion consists of applying intraocular medications and/or laser. These outpatient procedures can be performed in a specific area of the office, and after the treatment the patient can immediately return home and go to work the next day.

Hemi-Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

Hemi-Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (Photo Taken Using Angiography)

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