What is a Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)?

What is a Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)?

  • It is a blockage in the veins in the eye. The veins in the retina are responsible for transporting used blood from the retina back into the body.
  • The blockage of the vein causes blood to back up in the eye, which causes hemorrhages, swollen retinal veins, and potentially retinal swelling and vision loss.
  • A retinal vein occlusion can happen in 2 ways:
    • Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO): This happens when the “main highway” vein gets blocked, which can impact the entire field of vision.
    • Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO): This is like a blockage on a smaller “side street,” which may cause vision loss in just a part of the eye.
  • Most patients who have this problem have risk factors for vascular disease such as: diabetes, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, open angle glaucoma or a condition called thrombophilia.
  • RVO is most common in people over 50 years, with the risk increasing significantly after 65 years.
  • In younger patients, usually under the age of 40, checking for clotting disorders is important. Your doctor may find an important abnormality that needs to be treated.
  • If there is a family history of strokes or miscarriages or if the patient has autoimmune problems, then the tests are particularly important.
  • Following up with your primary care doctor for a review of your medical condition and treatment for any risk factors is also very important.
  • Early detection and prompt treatment can reduce the risk of vision loss.

Key Takeaways:

  • RVO is a blockage in a retinal vein, potentially causing vision loss.
  • Act fast – see an eye doctor immediately if you suspect a RVO.
  • Various treatment options can help manage complications and protect your vision.

The doctors at Retina Associates of Florida provide the latest diagnostic and treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in their Tampa, Brandon and Lakeland offices.

The website/blog does not provide medical, professional, or licensed advice and are not a substitute for consultation with a health care professional.



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