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Does Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) affect more young adults?

By admin | Jan 30, 2017

Central retinal vein occlusion is a retinal vascular disorder. CRVO occurs when there is a blockage in the main vein in the retina. The blockages cause the veins walls to break and leak fluid and blood into the retina. When fluid begins to accumulate, it leads to macular edema and vision becomes blurred. Several different factors are to be taken into consideration when classifying CRVO. CRVO is categorized under two types:

Non-Ischemic: This condition is the milder of the two cases and the most common form. Non-Ischemic vein occlusion may be present in those with good vision and few retinal hemorrhages. This form of the disease may also progress to Ischemic. Your ophthalmologist will carefully monitor you for any complications associated with retinal vein occlusion.

Ischemic: This stage is the most severe case CRVO. Ischemic CRVO occurs when areas of the retina do not receive enough oxygen, and this in turn leads to new fragile blood vessels to grow. These new blood vessels are weak and impair the flow of oxygen making the new vessels more likely to bleed. Ischemic CRVO can lead to neovascular glaucoma which is caused by an increase of intraocular pressure. Neovascular glaucoma is a serious condition where one may experience pain, extensive retinal hemorrhages and severe vision loss.

Symptoms of CRVO: Blurriness, redness in the eyes, and a decrease in vision are all common symptoms. Usually, there is no pain associated with CRVO. Depending on what part of the retina is affected vision may or may not be compromised. Floaters which are caused by a leak of fragile new blood vessels that leak into the vitreous cavity are caused by ischemic CRVO. In more severe cases the new blood vessels can clog the drainage system of the eye and lead to an increase in eye pressure and eye pain. In more severe cases, painful pressure caused by a blockage in the central vein, and sudden vision loss may be experienced.

Normal Vision
Normal Vision
Distorted vision due to CRVO
Distorted vision due to CRVO

Treatment for CRVO: There is no known medical treatment for the cure of CRVO. Your eye doctor should conduct a thorough, dilated eye exam to identify any leading cause of this disease. There are several different treatment options to help further preserve vision. Intraocular Anti-VEGF corticosteroid injection is aimed to target inflammation and stop the growth of new abnormal blood vessels. They also are useful for treating swelling in the macula. Focal laser is another option to address swelling in the macula. The laser makes tiny pulses in the area where blood vessels are leaking and seals the vessels off.  You ophthalmologist will carefully monitor your eyes and tailor treatment to what best suites your needs.

Central retinal vein occlusion is associated with age. Usually, adults age 50 and older who are diabetic, have glaucoma, hypertension and smoke are at an increased risk. Treating any systemic factors associated with this disease is very important. Your ophthalmologist will work closely with your primary care physician so that a comprehensive treatment plan is reached for you. Here at Retina Consultants of Boston we are committed to compassionate care to help asses our patients needs.

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!