What Is Retinal Vein Occlusion?

Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage in one of the veins of the retina. There is a main retinal vein as well as its branch veins that supply blood and oxygen to different areas of the retina. Blockages can affect any of them. The blockage of the veins causes bleeding and swelling up of the retina resulting in loss vein, which can be sudden and severe. The severity will depend on which vein is blocked.


Normal Retina


Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

Central vein occlusion

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

Branch vein occlusion

What causes Retinal Vein Occlusion?

Retinal vein occlusion is most often caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and the formation of a blood clot. Vein occlusions are associated with increasing age, high blood pressure, smoking, tobacco intake and glaucoma

What are the Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusion?

The primary symptom of retinal vein occlusion is a sudden painless decrease in vision. It usually affects one eye though both eyes may be affected. Some patients may have distortion of images as the primary symptom.

How is Retinal Vein Occlusion Diagnosed?

Your Eye doctor will do a complete eye check-up and dilate the pupils to examine the Retina. You may need specialĀ  tests of the Retina called OCT test ( to see the structure details of the Retina), FFA test ( to see the blood flow of the Retina ) and Fundus Photography ( Actual photographs of the retina).Your doctor may also perform blood tests for diabetes, high cholesterol ,clotting disorders etc.

Preventing Retinal Vein Occlusion

Retinal vein occlusion is caused by vascular issues. You can reduce your risk by protecting your blood vessels. Helpful lifestyle and dietary changes include exercising, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, controlling diabetes, taking aspirin or other blood thinners, if prescribed by a doctor.


Treatment consists of special injections called Anti-VEGF injections or steroid implants to be injected directly into the eye. These injections are to be given once in a month till the retinal swelling and bleeding subsides. These injections are usually given in the operation theatre. Retinal Laser is also required in most cases. You will need serial eye check-ups and dilated retina examination at regular intervals, as determined by your doctor. Underlying systemic conditions also require treatment.


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