Retinal Vein Occlusion

The Woodlands Retina Center

Wael Abdelghani, MD, FACS

Retina and Vitreous Specialist located in The Woodlands, TX

Retinal vein occlusion causes one symptom: painless vision loss. Your risk of developing retinal vein occlusion increases over the years, which is why Dr. Wael Abdelghani at The Woodlands Retina Center encourages patients to schedule routine preventive eye examinations to catch potential vein blockage before it causes vision loss. To learn more about retinal vein occlusion, call the office in The Woodlands, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.

Retinal Vein Occlusion Q & A

What is retinal vein occlusion?

A retinal vein occlusion occurs when small veins in the retina become blocked. The blockage causes mild to severe bleeding in the retina and creates areas in the retina with poor or absent blood flow.

Are you at risk of retinal vein occlusion?

These health conditions can increase your risk of developing a blocked retinal vein:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy
  • High tendency for blood clotting

What are the types of retinal vein occlusion?

You can develop two types of retinal vein occlusion:

Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)

CRVO, a blockage of the main retinal vein, can cause mild to severe damage. In mild cases, you may have minimal bleeding, retain good blood flow, and experience little to no effect on your vision.

You can have a severe case of CRVO right from the start, or you could have a mild case that progressively worsens. In severe CRVO, called ischemic CRVO, you have extensive retinal bleeding and poor blood flow. Ischemic CRVO often causes rapid and severe vision loss.

Branch retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)

In BRVO, smaller veins called branch veins are blocked. BRVO can also be mild or severe.

Both types of retinal vein occlusion can cause abnormal blood vessel growth, a process called neovascularization. These blood vessels bleed and leak fluid into the surrounding tissues, causing complications like macular edema, neovascular glaucoma, and retinal detachment, which all lead to vision loss.

How is retinal vein occlusion treated?

Treatment for retinal vein occlusion focuses on protecting your vision by preventing complications or treating complications that develop. Dr. Abdelghani develops each patient’s treatment plan based on their health and the severity of their retinal vein occlusion.

Possible treatment options include:

  • Laser treatment: eliminates abnormal veins
  • Eye injections: Various medications help stop the growth of abnormal vessels or reduce macular swelling.

Dr. Abdelghani may recommend frequent eye examinations if you have any form of retinal vein occlusion so he can detect and promptly treat changes in your condition, such as macular swelling and neovascularization. This is the best way to prevent retinal vein occlusion from progressing to a severe stage.

If you notice any change in your vision, or it’s time for your routine eye examination, call Dr. Abdelghani or book an appointment online.