Retinal Artery Occlusion
A retinal artery occlusion occurs when the central retinal artery or one of the arteries that branch off of it becomes blocked.
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This blockage is typically caused by a tiny embolus (clot) in the blood stream. The occlusion decreases the oxygen supply to the area of the retina nourished by the affected artery, causing permanent vision loss.
The lack of oxygen delivery to the retina may result in severe loss of vision.
Retinal artery occlusion is usually associated with sudden painless loss of vision in one eye. The area of the retina affected by the blocked vessels determines the area and extent of visual loss.
The main artery supplying blood to the eye is the ophthalmic artery; when it is blocked, it produces the most damage. A blockage in the main artery in the retina is called central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), which often results in severe loss of vision.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
• Transient loss of vision prior to the artery occlusion (in some cases)
• Sudden, painless and complete loss of vision in one eye (Central artery occlusion)
• Sudden, painless, partial loss of vision in one eye (Branch artery occlusion)
DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS
Artery occlusion is diagnosed by examining the retina with an ophthalmoscope
Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can consistently restore vision lost from an artery occlusion. However, if it is caught within the first hour and treatment is initiated immediately, recovery is possible in rare cases.
The following conditions increase the risk of problems that may affect the vessels of the eye:
• High cholesterol
• Heart Disease
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