Retinal vascular occlusion

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Retinal vascular occlusion involves the retina in the eye. The retina is a sensitive tissue layer lining the back part of the eye that is highly sensitive to light. It is layered with specialized cells known as rods and cones that transform light into neural indictors and transmit these signals to the brain to allow vision.

The retina requires a continuous supply of blood to ensure that the cells are provided with oxygen and essential nutrients. The blood also removes the wastes produced by the retina. It is possible for one of the vessels transporting blood to or from the retina to be blocked or develop a clot which is called as an occlusion.

Remember that this is a serious condition especially if atherosclerosis is already present. The condition is likely to develop among middle-aged and older individuals.

What are the signs?

The main indication of retinal vascular occlusion is an abrupt change in vision such as blurred vision or a partial or full loss of vision. In most cases, the signs typically affect one eye.

The alterations in the eyesight might be brief or permanent, depending on rapidly the individual sought treatment and if there are other health conditions present.

The main indication of retinal vascular occlusion is an abrupt change in vision such as blurred vision or a partial or full loss of vision.

Management of retinal vascular occlusion

It is important to note that most individuals with this condition have lasting changes to their vision. When managing retinal vascular occlusion, the doctor might suggest blood thinners or injections into the eye.

In some instances, laser therapy can be performed to break down the blockage in the blood vessels and prevent further damage from occurring.


The ideal way to avert retinal vascular occlusion is to pinpoint and manage the potential risk factors. Since the condition originates from vascular issues, it is vital to make the necessary lifestyle and nutritional alterations to care for the blood vessels and ensure that the heart is in a healthy state such as:

  • Regular exercise
  • Limiting or cessation of smoking
  • Cutting down weight or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Diet that is low in saturated fat
  • Proper control of diabetes by maintaining the blood sugar at the right level
  • Aspirin or other blood thinners

Regular check-ups with the doctor can help in determining if he/she has any risk factors for retinal vascular occlusion.

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