Retinal Vein Occlusion

When the blood vessels, which supply the retina with a rich blood supply, become blocked or occluded the blood supply is interrupted the cells of the retina become damaged, sometimes permanently. These occlusions most commonly occur as a consequence of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Consequently, the biggest risk factor, for these conditions are:

High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Smoking
Diabetes
Age
When a vein or an artery is occluded, the blood supply is interrupted. This can lead to ischaemia, as the retina then does not receive an adequate blood supply, which may then cause a reduction in vision. This may be permanent if not treated promptly.
Currently treatments include laser treatments and medicines, which reduce leakage from damaged blood vessels, which may also help stabilize or improve vision. There are a variety of different medicines, which achieve this. The most effective class of these medicines are not currently available on the NHS but are provided at the London Eye Hospital.

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