Our retina specialists are board-certified ophthalmologists with advanced training in vitreoretinal surgery to diagnose and manage the full spectrum of diseases affecting the retina, macula, and vitreous.
Retinal Artery Occlusion
What is Retinal Artery Occlusion?
The retina, the light sensitive part of your eye that lines its inner wall, requires a rich blood supply due to its high demand for oxygen. This blood is supplied by retinal arteries that course over its surface. A blockage of one of these arteries results in a disruption of blood supply, and death of retinal tissue. Like a stroke in your brain, the damage that has been done to your retina is irreversible.
Symptoms of Retinal Artery Occlusion
The symptoms you experience are dependent on the location in the retina where the blood supply was compromised. This can vary from a blind spot located to the side of your central vision, to severe complete vision loss.
Treatment for Retinal Artery Occlusion
There is currently no effective treatment for a retinal artery occlusion. Despite this, it is important to be evaluated by an eye doctor, as a retinal artery occlusion is usually caused by an embolus that has traveled from a blood vessel in your neck or heart.
What Happens Next?
After diagnosis, an evaluation by your primary care doctor will likely be initiated to see if a source can be identified. The blood vessels that supply the eye also supply your brain, and a retinal artery occlusion may be the first sign that you are at risk for a stroke. You will need to have continued monitoring of your eyes, as in the period following an artery blockage you can develop an aggressive type of glaucoma that must be diagnosed and treated early to prevent pain or further vision loss.