Retinal vein thrombosis can occur in any part of the circulatory system, including the retina. This is a dangerous condition that can lead to serious consequences, up to being blind.
Look at an ordinary checked notebook page. Can you see all the perpendicular lines? If so, there is nothing wrong with your retina. If there are dark spots with no image, then you may have retinal diseases. One of the most serious is retinal vein thrombosis or in other words, blockage of retinal arteries. You may also find other names for this condition, such as occlusion or eye stroke. Yeah, the principle of retinal vein thrombosis is similar to the way a brain attack occurs. Thus, you have to act as quickly as you would in a brain attack to save your vision.
The way a person with retinal thrombosis sees
Retinal vein thrombosis may be of several types:
- Central retinal vein thrombosis;
- Peripheral retinal vein thrombosis.
In the first case, when the central part of the retina (macula) is affected, vision in the affected eye is practically lost. A person may stop seeing on this side at all. If the vascular lesion occurs in one of the branches of the central vein (i.e., in the periphery), the vision is preserved well and sometimes the person does not even notice that something has happened to his or her eye. And the problem is detected by an ophthalmologist.
What happens during a retinal thrombosis?
A thrombus or blood clot can block the retinal artery, which disturbs the blood flow and leads to oxygen starvation. The areas without oxygen die off and the affected person sees only a black spot instead of the image.
In addition, vascular permeability increases due to impaired blood flow, which can result in retinal hemorrhage and retinal edema. Over time, there is active growth of abnormal new vessels.
Retinal vein thrombosis is a dangerous condition and requires prompt treatment by an ophthalmologist.
How a retinal thrombosis may be diagnosed?
There is usually no pain with retinal vein thrombosis, so if the blood vessel occlusion occurs on the periphery of the retina, the person may not even notice that something is wrong with his or her eye. But if the central retinal vein is damaged, it immediately affects the quality of vision, as a huge part of the image is lost and the eye sees only the outlines.
To diagnose retinal vein thrombosis, a comprehensive eye exam is performed. Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic always performs a comprehensive eye exam with a dilated pupil to examine the eye ground. This allows you to identify possible retinal abnormalities.
More precise and detailed retinal exams can be performed through additional studies, such as fluorescence angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the retina. These studies allow us to determine the extent of pathological changes in the retina and choose the right treatment tactics.
Causes of retinal thrombosis
Such a serious disease as retinal thrombosis does not occur out of nowhere. As a rule, it is a consequence of systemic diseases, such as:
- High blood pressure (hypertension);
- High blood cholesterol;
- Over 60 years of age;
- Ciliary arrhythmia;
- Eye injuries;
- Infectious diseases (flu, pneumonia, herpes, etc.).
Sudden visual field loss is considered an emergency condition in ophthalmology and requires immediate hospitalization. If treatment is not begun in time, a person can lose this eye completely.
How to treat retinal vein thrombosis
The retina is treated by narrow specialists in ophthalmology known as retinology. After examining and performing all diagnostic procedures, they diagnose and prescribe the treatment.
Treatment of retinal vein thrombosis is aimed at restoring normal blood flow in the damaged artery and reducing retinal edema caused by oxygen starvation.
Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic employs both medication and laser treatment for retinal thrombosis. Specifically, we apply intravitreal injection of Eylea into the vitreous body of the eye in several courses. In addition, laser photocoagulation of the retina is used. These measures allow suppressing the pathologically formed vessels and preserving a sufficiently high level of visual functions. This method of retinal thrombosis treatment is supported by all the world’s ophthalmological protocols.
It is worth adding that the result of retinal thrombosis treatment depends on the degree of the vascular damage. Often, thanks to comprehensive and timely treatment, vision can be restored, but it happens (about 30% of cases) that one stops seeing and vision cannot be restored despite all the actions taken.
Preventing the risk of retinal vein thrombosis
Retinal vein thrombosis is a very severe eye condition, so it’s better prevented than treated. Here are some preventive methods:
- Healthy diet;
- Quit smoking;
- Control your blood sugar;
- Lose excess weight;
- Control the eye pressure;
- Refuse snorkeling;
- Avoid baths, saunas, eye injuries, etc.
Finally, people with retinal vein thrombosis should regularly undergo a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation at a specialized ophthalmology center like Eximer. We are staffed by retinology experts specializing in retinal diseases for many years, offering expertise in how to treat people with this problem.
Take care of your vision. Schedule an appointment at Eximer Ophthalmology Clinic right now.