Whether you suffer from central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) or branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), Exeter Eye will be able to offer you the latest and most effective treatments available with our experienced retinal experts.
The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye. Like every other tissue in the body, the retina is nourished by a system of blood vessels.
The retinal arteries and veins originate in the optic nerve, and spread across the entire retina. Sometimes a clot, or an obstruction to blood flow, can occur in a retinal vein. This clot or obstruction can affect the entire retina if it occurs at the central vein, where the optic nerve is or it may affect a portion of the retina if it occurs further out from the centre.
This condition is called retinal vein occlusion. Typically, a retinal vein occlusion will cause fluid or blood to build up in the affected parts of the retina, including the part of the retina that provides sharp vision, called the macula. Retinal vein occlusion can cause sudden and severe blurring, or dimming of vision.
Over time, these acute symptoms may turn into permanent visual loss. Retinal vein occlusion needs prompt attention by an eye doctor, because in many cases, treatment can be provided to reduce swelling of the macula, and to prevent other complications.
There are various treatments for retinal vein occlusion but they depend on the stage and severity of your condition; so it is important to get an expert diagnosis. Initially your surgeon may recommend waiting for up to three months as many retinal vein occlusions improve on their own over time.
Other treatments can include:-
Medication for retinal vein occlusion
If you suffer from macular oedema, you may benefit from injections which have been shown to improve vision in patients with retinal vein occlusions.
Laser treatment for retinal vein occlusion
A process called ‘laser photocoagulation’ uses a thermal laser to seal off leaking blood vessels and prevent further growth of blood vessels that lead to a loss of vision.
Retinal vein occlusion surgery
There are a number of surgical treatments for retinal vein occlusions which may help to improve vision. All of these procedures involve a vitrectomy followed by different techniques to improve your vision.
A vitrectomy is a surgical treatment in which a doctor makes an incision in the eye and uses a small instrument to remove the gel and the blood that have accumulated in the vitreous as a result of retinal bleeding. The procedure is performed under local or general anaesthetic.
The vitreous gel is then replaced with a saline (or salt) solution. After removing the vitreous gel, the surgeon may treat the retina with a laser, cut or remove fibrous or scar tissue from the retina, or repair tears or holes in the retina.
It is a relatively quick procedure that should take no more than one hour. Your eye may be mildly sore after the operation, and will probably feel sensitive. In most cases you will be able to go home straight after surgery.
If you are diagnosed with a retinal vein occlusion, you should also visit your GP for a check-up as you may be more at risk of clotting and circulation problems in other parts of your body.
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Exeter Eye is a specialist ophthalmic eye clinic treating all eye conditions and offering the very best in patient care and comfort. We always ensure we fully understand your condition and lifestyle before identifying your treatment options and then help you choose the best one for you.