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Retinal Vascular Occlusions

Retinal vascular occlusions (or “retinal vein occlusions”) occur when a blood clot blocks the retinal vein. It frequently occurs in individuals with other health conditions that can impact blood flow, such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), or high cholesterol. Sometimes, retinal vascular occlusions simply happen because the veins of the eye are naturally too narrow to allow for proper blood flow.

Symptoms of Retinal Vascular Occlusions

  • Blurred vision
  • Vision loss

Symptoms usually only present in one eye.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Retinal Vascular Occlusions

Undiagnosed and untreated retinal vascular occlusions can cause permanent damage to the retina and lead to other eye problems. If you suspect you have this condition, see your eye doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait to see whether your symptoms go away or progress. There are a few different tests your eye doctor can perform to diagnose retina vascular occlusions:

  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – a high definition image taken of the retina
  • Ophthalmoscopy – examination of the retina with a specialized tool called an ophthalmoscope
  • Fluorescein angiography – injection of dye into the blood vessel

While there is no way to unblock a retinal vein, there are a variety of steps that can be taken to manage the condition and improve vision, including eye injections or laser therapy.