Retinal Vein Occlusions2022-03-07T10:14:46+00:00

Retinal vein occlusion is an eye condition which can cause sudden blindness

We can treat this condition with injections or laser treatment

Retinal vein occlusion is an eye condition which can cause sudden blindness

We can treat this condition with injections or laser treatment

Restore clarity and confidence in your sight

Discover more about this condition and how to treat it

When blood vessels to the retina are blocked, it is known as a retinal vein occlusion or ‘eye stroke’ and can cause sudden blindness.

The retina is the part of the eye where light is focused and converted to electrical signals sent to the brain. A retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the blood vessels that feed the retina and can result in severe and sudden vision problems.

Just like a stroke causes damage to other parts of the body when blood circulation fails, a retinal vein occlusion causes damage to the eye. When the blood flow to the retina is blocked, oxygen and nutrients cannot reach it, and a haemorrhage (bleeding) occurs.

This condition usually occurs because of a hardening of the arteries, which then press on the vein. People with certain medical conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, are more at risk of retinal vein occlusion than others. Retinal vein occlusions are also most common in people over 60 years of age.

Just as a stroke can occur suddenly and without warning, symptoms of a retinal vein occlusion or ‘eye stroke’ usually occur quite suddenly. A sudden loss of vision, or sudden blurring of vision, is often the first sign that many people are aware of. The severity of symptoms differs from person to person. It depends on whether the blockage is central or a branch vein.

Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO)

A branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) refers to a blockage of the smaller retinal veins. This usually results in blurred vision or a missing area of vision. Many people with a BRVO find that their vision gradually improves again over time, as the eye naturally heals itself.

Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)

A blockage to the central or main retinal vein is more serious. Usually, it involves a more severe loss of vision. Total loss of central vision is not unusual, and recovery is less likely than with a BRVO.

In most cases of retinal vein occlusions, vision problems are caused by fluid leaking from blocked blood vessels into the vitreous ‘gel’ inside the eye.

However, a secondary problem is the growth of new and abnormal blood vessels. These grow into the vitreous cavity rather than into the damaged retina and often bleed, blocking off vision. This is known as a vitreous haemorrhage.

CRVO, in particular, can also lead to glaucoma in some people.

We can diagnose retinal vein occlusion with a dilated fundus examination or with a fundus camera.

Depending on the type and severity of the retinal vein occlusion, treatment can include laser treatment, drug injections or a vitrectomy.

A BRVO may not require any treatment and may heal itself given time. A CRVO, on the other hand, may require immediate treatment.

If you suffer any of the symptoms of retinal vein occlusion, it’s important to see an eye specialist straight away.

If you are diagnosed with a retinal vein occlusion, you should also visit your GP for a check-up. This is because you may be more at risk of clotting and circulation problems in other parts of your body.

Can I do anything to prevent a retinal vein occlusion?

It is important to keep your blood pressure in the normal range and watch your blood sugar levels as high blood pressure and diabetes are risk factors for developing retinal vein occlusions.

Will glasses fix my vision after a retinal vein occlusion?

Glasses will not fix a retinal vein occlusion.

What will my vision look like if I get a retinal vein occlusion?

Typically the initial symptom is a sudden loss of vision or sudden blurring of vision.

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Give us a call to book your appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Give us a call to book your appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

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Additional resources on retinal disorders and their treatments

Learn more about treating retinal eye conditions from authoritative sources.

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the second most common retinal vascular disorder following diabetic retinopathy and is often associated with vision loss. Retinal vein occlusion occurs when there is a partial or complete obstruction of a retinal vein, and it is classified by the location of the occlusion. Click here to read more.

A blockage in the retina’s main vein is referred to as a central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), while a blockage in a smaller vein is called a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). Click here to read more.

Arteries and veins carry blood throughout your body, including your eyes. The eye’s retina has one main artery and one main vein. When branches of the retinal vein become blocked, it is called branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).

When the vein is blocked, blood and fluid spills out into the retina. The macula can swell from this fluid, affecting your central vision. Eventually, without blood circulation, nerve cells in the eye can die and you can lose more vision. Click here to watch a video on branch retinal vein occlusion.

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