Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the blockage of a vein in the retina. Mainly caused by hardening of the arteries, it's the third most common condition that retina specialists treat.
You may RVO if you suddenly have blurry vision or completely lose sight in one eye. Fortunately, early treatment of RVO can help lower your chance of vision loss.
Call the UPMC Vision Institute to make an appointment or learn more about RVO at 412-647-2200 or 1-800-446-3797.
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Your retina is the part of your eye that collects light and sends it to your brain so you can see. It needs blood flow like all organs in the body.
Arteries bring blood into the retina and veins take the blood back out. RVO happens when a vein becomes blocked.
A blocked vein in the retina can:
RVO causes sudden blurry vision or complete vision loss, but only in one eye in most cases.
There are two types:
Without treatment, RVO can lead to permanent vision loss.
Blockages occur when hardened arteries place pressure on a retinal vein and cause both CRVO and BRVO.
Hardening of the arteries in the retina:
Blockages can also happen in the retinal artery, called retinal artery occlusion (RAO). It's more likely due to a blood clot.
If you're under 40 and have RAO, your doctor will do tests to check for blood clots.
People over 50 are more likely to have retinal vein or artery occlusion.
Other risks include:
RVO may cause other eye problems, such as:
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should see an eye doctor right away. Early treatment is vital to preserving your vision.
It's important to note that sudden vision loss is not a symptom of RVO. If you have sudden vision loss, seek emergency medical treatment.
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and give you a complete eye exam.
Common tests your doctor may use include:
These retinal imaging tests will let your eye doctor check the retina and make a diagnosis.Back to top.
Catching and treating RVOs early helps lower your chance of vision loss.
Although doctors can't reverse the occlusion, they can help stop further eye problems like glaucoma. They can also treat systemic factors - like diabetes and heart disease - that increase your risks.
Your doctor will prescribe treatment based on how severe your symptoms are.
RVO treatment options include:
There's no cure for retinal vein or artery occlusions. But treatment may improve your vision and keep your symptoms from getting worse.
It's vital to see your eye doctor if you notice any blurry vision.
You have the best chance of preserving your sight if your doctor catches RVO early.
No, RVO is not a stroke.
In a stroke, an artery to the brain gets blocked or bursts, causing life-threatening consequences.
An "eye stroke" can happen because of a blocked artery or vein, causing a change or loss of vision in one eye.
The risk factors for RVO are also the same as for stroke. So, for your overall health, it's crucial to manage your weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure.Back to top.
To plan a visit with a UPMC eye doctor for RVO or other eye problems, call 412-647-2200 or 1-800-446-3797.