Retinal vascular occlusion
More specifically, blockage of either retinal arteries or retinal veins leads to retinal vascular occlusion by preventing sufficient blood flow to the retina, which is the "screen" onto which the eye projects the images of the outside world that are transmitted to the brain and perceived as "sight" or "vision".
Such blocked and therefore reduced circulation to the retina may result in:
- retinal bleeding,
- retinal swelling,
- retinal neovascularization (i.e. abnormal formation of new blood vessels),
- partial or total loss of vision, and
- in the most extreme untreated cases only, possibly cell death (i.e. leading to permanent damage).
Initial symptoms may vary and can involve subtle or very obvious changes or distortions in vision. For example, in some cases there may be a sudden yet painless blurring of, or reduction in, vision in the upper- or lower-half of the visual field, in others cases increasing vague haziness and / or a loss of clarity of visual perception. (Note that such general symptoms alone are insufficient to indicate retinal vascular occulsions. As for all medical concerns, professional advice should be sought if and when problems or concerns arise.)
Retinal vascular occulsions fall into one of two types, according to the type of blood vessel(s) involved.
In some rare cases, both artery and vein occlusions may occur together in the same eye. In such situations, physicians might consider the possibility of underlying causes such as leukemia, trauma, or collagen vascular disorders if the cause of the retinal vascular occulsions is not already fully known and understood.
More about Ophthalmology:
This section includes short definitions
of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).
Other related pages include
- A diagram of the eye
- Definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye
- A concise description of the human retina
- Definitions of parts of the retina
- Clinical and surgical procedures re. eyes and human visual system
For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.