Retinal Vein Occlusion

What is Retinal Vein Occlusion?

Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) is a type of stroke that happens in the eye. RVO occurs when there is a blockage of the small veins that transport blood away from the retina. The retina, the small patch of tissue at the back of your eye, is responsible for converting light into brain signals.

What Causes RVO?

There are many factors that can contribute to RVO. The most common cause of RVO is the hardening of the arteries and formation of a blood clot.

Common risk factors for RVO include:

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Glaucoma
  •  Macular edema
  • Vitreous hemorrhage

RVO most often affects older patients, as they are more likely to have the other conditions listed above. RVO may also cause other eye conditions, such as glaucoma and macular edema.

What are the symptoms?

RVO does not have many symptoms. The most noticeable symptom would be sudden blurring and vision loss. Vision loss and blurring can occur in part of or all of the eye.

RVO Treatments

Before treatment, your eye doctor will diagnose your condition. In order to diagnose RVO, your doctor will need to perform a series of exams and tests.

These tests may include:

  • Dilated eye examination
  • Intraocular pressure measurement
  • Retinal photography
  • Slit lamp examination
  • Visual acuity test
  • Blood tests for diabetes, high cholesterol, and triglyceride levels

Once diagnosed, your retinal specialist will determine the correct course of treatment for you. Some people will regain their vision without treatment. However, vision rarely returns to its previous state. Your doctor may recommend simply managing your diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Other treatments include:

  • Laser treatment
  • Injections of anti-VEGF drugs into the eye. This prevents the growth of new blood vessels that can contribute to glaucoma
  • Evaluating and Treating Red Eyes

If you have been diagnosed with RVO, or if you are experiencing the symptoms, be sure to contact Eye Surgeons and Consultants of Hollywood FL today!

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