What Causes Retinal Vein Occlusions?

Your retina is a layer of tissue that sits at the back of your eye and transmits information about what you see to the optical nerve. Naturally, your retina is comprised of nerves that require blood flow to work accurately. A complicated network of veins supplies blood to the retina, and most of the time this process works well. Unfortunately, blood clots can sometimes develop within these veins and stop the blood flow. When this happens, it is called a retinal vein occlusion. Similarly, the blockage that can contribute to a stroke, this condition is considered a health emergency that requires prompt treatment from a Brooklyn retina doctor.

What Are the Risk Factors for Retinal Vein Occlusions?

Reaching your 55th birthday is cause for celebration, but you’ll also want to keep in mind that 90% of retinal vein occlusions occur in people who have hit this milestone. You are also at a greater risk of having this eye condition if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. People with diabetes will also want to be alert for signs of this condition because the changes that blood sugar fluctuations can have on the veins cause them to be at higher risk as well. Quitting smoking, eating healthy, and getting regular exercise all help to lower your risk.

What Are the Symptoms of a Vein Blockage In the Eye?

The symptoms of a retinal vein conclusion will come on suddenly, and they are usually painless. Most people notice that they suddenly lose the ability to see out of one eye. This could include a total loss of vision, or you might see severe blurriness that limits your ability to do your normal activities. For some people, the symptoms occur more slowly, and you might notice that your vision continues to get worse over a period of weeks. The symptoms may last for only a few minutes or seconds, or they could stay the same. Experiencing only a partial loss of eyesight in one eye is a sign that you might be dealing with branch retinal ocular occlusion rather than one that affects the main retinal vein.

How Will My Eye Doctor Preserve My Vision?

A retina doctor in Brooklyn will take your symptoms seriously, and they can use your description to get an idea of where the blockage may be occurring. They will then quickly set to work to using specialized equipment, such as optical coherence tomography, to get a closer look at what is happening deep within your eye. Once the damaged veins are found, your vision specialist can then use thermal lasers and other forms of treatment to current the damaged capillaries and veins. Your eye care doctor may also recommend making lifestyle changes and following up with a health care visit with your general practitioner to current any conditions that could contribute to the problem. Lowering your cholesterol levels and making other lifestyle changes can prevent it from happening again.

When blood flow stops in the eye, time is of the essence for correcting a serious vision problem that could cause you to lose your eyesight. With prompt care, you may be able to recover all or at least some portion of your vision and learn how to prevent the condition in the future.