Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Retina and vitreous

Retina vein occlusion

What is a retina vein occlusion?

As its name suggests, retinal vein occlusions consist of a partial or total obstruction of the blood flow in the retinal veins.

They differ in central retinal vein occlusion (which affects the entire retinal supply) and in branch vein occlusion, which produces a triangular area of ischemia depending on the branch affected.

Why do retinal vein occlusions occur?

Retinal vein occlusion is generally caused by a thrombus, the appearance of which is favoured by factors such as arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia or arteriosclerosis.

How do retinal vein occlusions manifest?

Retinal vein occlusions manifest with loss of vision, which can be:

Retina vein occlusion treatment

Treating the cause of the disease (hypertension, hyperglycaemia…) can prevent further occlusions.

The specific treatment of the occlusion depends on the severity of the condition. It is usually treated with medical treatment (intravitreal injections of anti-angiogenic drugs or corticosteroids, to stop the inflammatory cascade and the production of neovessels produced by the occlusion); laser treatment (laser photocoagulation); or less frequently surgical (vitrectomy).

Prevention of retinal vein occlusions

Being a pathology of vascular origin, preventive measures aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk factors are those that Prevent or delay the onset of the disease: avoid tobacco, perform physical activity, maintain optimal control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood glucose.

Summary

Symptoms

Periodic ophthalmological review in patients with cardiovascular risk factors.

Revision

It is convenient to check both eyes periodically from the age of 45, to detect the cataract and decide the moment of the operation.

Prevention

Avoid tobacco, a sedentary lifestyle, hyperlipidaemia and carry out good control of blood pressure and diabetes.

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