Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

ExitCare ImageCentral retinal vein occlusion is when the blood supply from the retina is blocked. The retina is the layer of cells at the back of the eye. It enables us to see light and color.

CAUSES

The blockage of this vein is often a complication of:

  • Glaucoma.

  • Diabetes mellitus.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension).

  • Certain blood disorders.

There are many possible reasons for the central retinal vein to become blocked. However, on many occasions, a specific cause is not identified.

SYMPTOMS

  • If the central retinal vein is completely blocked, it causes a gradual, painless, complete or partial loss of vision in one eye.

  • If only a branch of the vein is blocked, there is just a partial loss of vision. This may show up as a loss of a quarter of a field of vision (quadrant). This type of blockage is referred to as a "branch retinal vein occlusion."

TREATMENT

There is no generally accepted medical treatment for this condition. Usually, people with normal retinal vessels and blood supply do well. Sometimes, new retinal vessels will begin to grow in the injured area. When this happens, laser treatments may be helpful. They can decrease bleeding (hemorrhages) or prevent new vessel formation (neovascular), glaucoma and bleeding into the inside of the eye.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

There is no treatment or change in activities. However, your caregiver may want you to be evaluated for high blood pressure or other medical conditions. If any are present, they may require that you take medications or other treatment.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You notice any change in your vision.

  • You have loss of vision off to the side in one eye.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • For any sudden change in vision.