The retina receives oxygen and nutrients from blood that comes from the arteries, once the oxygen is released the blood returns to the heart through the veins of the retina. When one of these arteries or veins become blocked this is known as retinal artery occlusion or retinal vein occlusion.

When a retinal vein occlusion occurs it can not 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.

Photo: "Central retinal vein occlusion".

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

It is more likely to occur in people with:

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

Photo: "Capillary nonperfusion in branch retinal vein occlusion".

If you are over 50 years old and present sudden blurred vision in one of your eyes, you should go immediately to an Ophthalmologist specialized in Retina.

Many times is necessary to perform studies such as retinal angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to determine the magnitude of the damage and then decide on the best treatment.

Currently the treatment consists of the application of intraocular medications and/or laser. This can be done in the office and the patient returns home immediately after being applied and can go back to work the next day.

Photo: "Hemi-Central Retinal Vein Occlusion - Normal picture".

Photo: "Hemi-Central Retinal Vein Occlusion - Angiography".

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