The retina in your eye is filled with tiny veins and vessels that supply it with blood. Similar to other veins in your body, a clot can develop that restricts blood flow. When this happens, the blood can no longer drain from the retina properly, which can lead to some significant changes in your vision. If you have a retinal vein occlusion, you might notice blurry vision in one eye that comes on suddenly. Understanding the causes of retinal vein occlusions gives you insight into how to take action to prevent developing this condition, and knowing about the treatments that are available can help you make the best decisions regarding your eye health, if you do.
What Causes a Retinal Vein Occlusion?
A retinal vein occlusion occurs when something disrupts the normal flow of blood. Usually, this is a clot, but it could also happen if the retinal vein becomes compressed. While there isn’t a specific cause for this disruption of blood flow, it is known that certain health conditions increase the risk of it happening. For instance, atherosclerosis is a common cause of retinal vein occlusions, since hardening of the arteries restricts blood flow.
Are Retinal Vein Occlusions Preventable?
Retinal vein occlusion affects over 16 million people around the world, and it isn’t always preventable. However, you can take action to manage health conditions that are linked to restricted blood flow. Following your diabetic care plan and making sure to address high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries makes it less likely for a clot to develop in your retinal vein.
What Are the Most Common Treatments?
There isn’t currently a safe way to completely unblock the vein. Instead, a Brooklyn retina doctor can use several different treatments to potentially improve your vision and prevent complications. Intravitreal injections are commonly used to place medication in the eye that helps to reduce swelling and the formation of abnormal blood vessels. Laser surgery might also be needed to repair damage to your retina. If you have a condition that is linked to this eye condition, then you might also take medication to manage it.
What Can You Expect After Treatment?
Your prognosis will greatly depend upon where the blockage is located along with whether or not you develop complications. For some people, the vision loss is permanent, but many people go on to see their vision gradually improve over time. Since the treatment for retinal vein occlusions might need to continue over a period of years, you’ll need to make sure to continue seeing your eye doctor regularly and manage any health conditions that contribute to the restricted blood flow. With time and proper care, you can look forward to minimizing your risk of complications and enjoying better eye health.
Coping with a long-term eye condition can be stressful, which is why it is important to have support. Working with a retinal specialist in Brooklyn that can offer you the best possible treatments gives you a better chance at having a good prognosis. While you might need ongoing treatments for your retinal vein occlusion, you’ll feel better knowing that you are receiving quality care.