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Know how Branch Retinal Vein Occlusions are treated

By admin | May 23, 2017

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusions (BRVO) can occur from several different conditions. Diabetes, high cholesterol, glaucoma, and systemic inflammatory diseases can all affect the integrity of the veins that provide blood supply to the retina. BRVO occurs when branches of the retinal vein become blocked. When this occurs, blood and fluid leak out into the retina. If the fluid and blood leaks into the macula, it is called macular edema.  If not treated, macular edema can lead to a permanent visual loss.

Although BRVO cannot be cured, there are several different treatment options available. Focal or grid laser, Anti VEGF drugs and Steroids are used in the treatment of specific conditions caused by BRVO such as edema (swelling). Anti VEGF drugs work by stopping the growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the eye, and tightening the gap junction in retinal vessels thereby making them less likely to leak.

Steroids have similar effects as Anti VEGF drugs, but work through a different pathway. Steroids work by targeting various inflammatory markers, and inflammation is a common final pathway in retinal vein occlusions.

Laser therapy for macular edema involves applying light laser pulses to the macula. The laser creates burns to the area of the vein occlusion, which helps stop the damaged blood vessels from leaking and new blood vessels from growing.

Sometimes, surgery is needed in order to treat a retinal vein occlusion.  Vitrectomy Surgery involves removing the vitreous humor in the eye. This procedure also addresses specific complications that can arise such as vitreous hemorrhage, growth of new blood vessels, or retinal detachment.

Here at Retina Consultants of Boston we use state of the art technology to treat various eye diseases including retinal vein occlusions. We pride ourselves in delivering customized treatment options to deliver comprehensive care to our patients. We are currently accepting new patients. Please call and make an appointment today!

In the interest of maintaining further transparency and providing a wide breadth of information to our patients and providers, this blog will serve as an educational and informative resource on interesting happenings within Retina Consultants of Boston and in the greater field of Ophthalmology.

Here at Retina Consultants of Boston, Dr. John J. Weiter and Dr. Namrata Nandakumar are on the forefront of diagnostic techniques, treatment and micro-surgical techniques for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular holes, and a number of other issues affecting the vitreous and retina. Check back here frequently for news and updates on our practice and all things retina!