Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)

Retinal vein occlusion is a very common condition. It occurs when a vessel draining blood from the retina becomes blocked. As a result, the retina upstream from the blockage can develop bleeding, swelling and a poor oxygen supply. It is one of the most common conditions that can affect the retina.

Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)

Retinal vein occlusion is a very common condition. It occurs when a vessel draining blood from the retina becomes blocked. As a result, the retina upstream from the blockage can develop bleeding, swelling and a poor oxygen supply. It is one of the most common conditions that can affect the retina.

What are the symptoms of retinal vein occlusion?

Some people will notice no symptoms at all, particularly if the vein occlusion is small or mild. Some people, however, may notice a sudden loss of vision. Others may get blurred vision or floaters.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes – by far the most important risk factor is high blood pressure, which typically occurs more frequently as people get older. Eyes with glaucoma or ocular hypertension are also at higher risk of developing a vein occlusion. More rare risk factors include blood clotting abnormalities, and systemic inflammatory diseases.

Broadly speaking, retinal vein occlusion can be central, hemi- or branch, with a central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) affecting the entire retina. Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) is 3 times more common than CRVO, and only affects one quadrant of the retina. All vein occlusions can be ischaemic (severe) or non-ischaemic (less severe).

Retinal vein occlusion can lead to visual loss but treatment can be very effective. Previously, laser to the retina was able to stabilise vision, but now injections into the eye can improve vision and keep it good. Typically, patients will need a course of injections and there are many drugs that have been shown to be effective. In eyes with ischaemic retinal vein occlusion, laser can help reduce bleeding and retinal detachment.