Retinal Vein Occlusion


A retinal vein occlusion usually occurs when an artery supplying blood to the eye hardens (atherosclerosis) and presses on a nearby vein, making it difficult for blood to leave the eye. The restricted circulation leads to high pressure in the retinal veins, which can in turn cause swelling, bleeding, growth of abnormal blood vessels, and partial or total vision loss. 

Vascular occlusions do not cause a change in the physical appearance of the eye, and they can occur with no pain or noticeable loss of vision. For these reasons, it is important to have routine eye exams and to check your own vision by closing one eye at a time.

There is no cure for retinal vein occlusion, but treatment may be recommended to reduce vision loss or complications. Treatment options include laser, intra-ocular medications, and surgery.  Emphasis is placed on management of risk factors, treatment of symptoms, and prevention of further vision loss. It is critical to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other health conditions that increase the risk of vascular hardening, narrowing, and blood clotting.

For more information on a branch retinal vein occlusion, we welcome you to view the American Academy of Ophthalmology page. Please click here.

For more information on a central retinal vein occlusion, please click here.