RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSION

Overview of branch retinal vein occlusion and central retinal vein occlusion.

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Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a vascular disorder that occurs in the retina of the eye, where one or more veins carrying blood away from the retina are blocked. This blockage can lead to a variety of symptoms and potential vision loss, depending on the severity and location of the occlusion.

There are two main types of retinal vein occlusion:

  1. Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO):
    • BRVO occurs when one of the branches of the central retinal vein becomes blocked. This leads bleeding and fluid leakage into the retina.  Fluid leakage in the retina is called macular edema and is a treatable cause of vision loss in patients with retinal vein occlusion.
  2. Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO):
    • CRVO is more severe and involves the blockage of the central retinal vein which drains all the blood from the retina back to the heart. CRVO can lead to widespread retinal hemorrhages, macular edema, and ischemia (lack of blood flow). The effects on vision can be more profound in CRVO compared to BRVO.

Both types of retinal vein occlusion are associated with risk factors such as age, hypertension, diabetes, and other systemic vascular diseases. The exact cause of these occlusions is often related to a combination of factors, including blood clot formation and compression of the retinal vein by adjacent structures.

Management of retinal vein occlusion may involve addressing underlying systemic conditions, as well as treatments to manage complications such as macular edema.

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Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) is a vascular disorder that affects the retina of the eye. In BRVO, one of the smaller branches of the central retinal vein becomes blocked or occluded. The central retinal vein is responsible for draining blood from the retina. When one of its branches is blocked, it can lead to a range of complications that affect vision.

The blockage in a branch retinal vein occlusion can result in:

  1. Blood and Fluid Leakage: The impaired blood flow can cause blood and other fluids to leak into the retinal tissue.
  2. Macular Edema: The accumulation of fluid in the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for detailed vision, can lead to macular edema. This swelling can cause distortion or blurring of central vision.
  3. Hemorrhages: The lack of proper drainage can lead to the development of retinal hemorrhages, which are bleeding within the layers of the retina.

The severity of vision impairment in branch retinal vein occlusion can vary. Some individuals may experience mild symptoms, while others may have more significant visual disturbances, depending on factors such as the location and extent of the occlusion.

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Central retinal vein occlusion

Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is a blockage of the main vein that transports blood from the retina back to the heart. This blockage can lead to a range of complications that impact vision.

When the central retinal vein is occluded in CRVO, it can result in:

  1. Widespread Retinal Hemorrhages: The impaired blood flow can cause bleeding (hemorrhages) within the layers of the retina. This can lead to the appearance of “cotton wool spots” and other retinal changes.
  2. Macular Edema: The accumulation of fluid in the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for detailed vision, can occur. Macular edema can cause distortion or blurring of central vision.
  3. Ischemia: The lack of proper blood flow can result in ischemia, or insufficient oxygen supply to the retinal tissue, which can further contribute to vision problems.
  4. Neovascularization: In some cases, CRVO may lead to the growth of abnormal blood vessels (neovascularization) in the retina, which can increase the risk of complications such as vitreous hemorrhage or retinal detachment.

The severity of vision impairment in central retinal vein occlusion can vary, and individuals with CRVO may experience significant visual disturbances.

 

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