Retinal vascular occlusion is a disorder caused by blockage of one of the retina’s many tiny veins or arteries. The blockage affects the retina’s ability to function properly. When caught early on, this issue can often be treated before vision disruptions occur. However, when left undetected, retinal vascular occlusion may result in blurriness in one eye or partial and even complete loss of vision.

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision that could indicate retinal vascular occlusion or another problem with your retina, please contact California Retina Associates online or by calling us at (619) 425-7755 or (760) 352-7755. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our leading retina specialists to have your eyes evaluated.

Understanding the Types of Retinal Vascular Occlusion

The four types of retinal vascular occlusion are:

  • Branch retinal vein occlusion – Also known as BRVO, this type of vascular occlusion occurs when one of the tiny veins that drains blood from the retina becomes blocked, allowing blood to back up into the retina and cause swelling. This can result in a gradual blurring of the vision.
  • Branch retinal artery occlusion – Also known as BRAO, this type of vascular occlusion occurs when a clot or plaque breaks loose from a larger artery, preventing fresh blood from entering the retina. With BRAO, both peripheral and central vision may be lost. The loss of peripheral vision may occur suddenly.
  • Central retinal vein occlusion – Also known as CRVO, this type of vascular occlusion occurs when the main vein in the retina becomes blocked, allowing blood to seep into the retina and blur vision. There are two types of CRVO, non-ischemic CRVO and ischemic CRVO. The latter can lead to significant complications and may even necessitate the removal of the eye.
  • Central retinal artery occlusion – Also known as CRAO, this type of vascular occlusion occurs when the central artery of the retina becomes obstructed. CRAO will result in sudden, although painless, vision loss.

Avoiding Vision Loss Due to Retinal Vascular Occlusion

The best way to prevent vision loss due to retinal vascular occlusion is to keep up a routine of regular eye exams with an experienced ophthalmologist. During these exams, the doctor will use special instruments and technology to get a good look at the internal structures of your eye, noting any problems. If the doctor notices anything problematic in your retina, they can perform or order testing like fluorescein angiogram, which highlights the blood vessels in the retina to confirm the problem is with the veins or arteries. Then, depending on the extent of the blockage and the damage of the retina, the doctor can recommend the most suitable course of treatment to improve blood flow.

Most people over the age of 40 should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam once a year; people at a heightened risk of retinal problems – for example, people with diabetes or other systemic health problems – may need to have exams more frequently

Contact California Retina Associates

To schedule an examination with one of our trusted San Diego retina specialists, please call or email California Retina Associates today.