Retinal Vein Occlusion

A Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) occurs when a vein in the retina is blocked which may cause swelling, bleeding and ischaemia (loss of blood supply) of the retina. Usually, it is caused by the hardening of the small calibre retinal blood vessels by conditions such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol.

There are two different forms of this condition, a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) involves the main retinal vein and a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) involves a smaller branch vein. Vision loss can occur from swelling at the macula (macular oedema) or loss of retinal blood supply.

Symptoms

Symptoms are usually only present in one eye and may include the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark patches in the vision
  • Symptoms can worsen in days

Diagnosis & Treatment

A number of tests will be performed to diagnose this condition. Usually, a scan of the retina will be undertaking to assess the condition of the retina and macula. The specialist will examine the eye with a slit lamp through your dilated pupils. The doctor may also do a Fluorescein Angiogram where a dye will be injected into the arm and photos will be taken of the retinal blood vessels. There are different treatment options available to protect against any vision loss and treat any complications. These may include injections and/or laser procedures.

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