Retinal Vascular Disease

Diagram of the Retina

Veins are responsible for returning blood to the heart. Smaller venules ultimately drain to the central retinal vein which carries blood from the eye. This vein may become occluded (blocked) as it exits the eye at the level of the lamina cribrosa. The central retinal vein and central retinal artery share a connective tissue sheath. Arterial hypertrophy (enlarged) may occur due to hypertension (high blood pressure) or other medical conditions and compress the central retinal vein. When this hypertrophy occurs, venous stasis may lead to the occlusion of the vein.

This venous stasis effectively causes the blood to be “backed up” similar to a blocked pipe. This also leads to ischemia of retinal tissue (decreased tissue oxygenation) and loss of capillary endothelial cells.

Patient symptoms include decreased vision, blurred vision, and metamorphopsia (distortion).

Common risk factors for this condition include glaucoma, hypertension, and diabetes.

Central Florida Retina offers advanced retinal imaging, including angiography and optical coherence tomography, which are critical tools in diagnosing central retinal vein occlusion and following response to treatment.

This condition without treatment may advance to develop macular edema (swelling of the retina) and neovascularization (growth of abnormal blood vessels).

Treatments exist for central retinal vein occlusion. Most commonly this may be treated with injections of medication into the eye. In the presence of neovascularization, treatments with panretinal photocoagulation may also be needed.

The surgeons at Central Florida Retina are fellowship trained retina specialists practicing the latest treatments for central retinal vein occlusion. Should you be experiencing any of these symptoms or would like to request a consultation, please contact (800) 255-7188.

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