Treating your retina to help preserve sight
As we age, our vision can be affected by various problems with the retina. The retina is thin tissue in the back of the eye consisting of the nerve cells that capture the images we see.
The center portion of the retina does an important job that can be disrupted
This area is called the macula and is where our “best” vision emanates, allowing us to perform important functions, such as:
Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO)
BRVO is blockage of one of the venous branches of your retina and can cause vision loss and other complications. To help determine if you’ve experienced a BRVO, there are specialized tests we can perform in the office.
Risk factors for BRVO
People over 50 are mostly likely to experience BRVOs, but younger patients can also suffer from the disorder. Other risk factors include:
- History of stroke
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Elevated blood lipids
Symptoms of BRVO
This can depend on which venous branch is involved, but can include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in area of visual field, such as peripheral vision
- Significant amount of blood within the retina
- May not cause any symptoms
Vision-threatening results of BRVO
- Swelling from leaking blood vessels
- Loss of blood flow
- Growth of new abnormal blood vessels
Treatment is available
The Branch Vein Occlusion Study found that these treatments could improve vision prognosis:
- Laser treatment
- Medication injections
- Aspirin therapy
This condition can cause abnormal, extremely fragile blood vessels to grow from the retina into the eye’s vitreous gel. This can lead to bleeding and formation of scar tissue, as well as floaters and loss of vision.
Treatment for the condition
Treatment can be effective for stabilizing and even reversing blood vessel growth. Bleeding will sometimes clear on its own, but surgery to remove the blood and the vitreous gel may be necessary. In severe cases, the retina may be pulled away from the wall of the eye, requiring surgical repair.