Retinal Vein Occlusion Treatment in Baltimore
Your eye’s retina relies on good blood supply to receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly. Retinal arteries carry blood from your heart to your retina, and retinal veins carry the blood from your retina back to your heart.
If your retinal veins or arteries become blocked, it causes complications that affect your ability to see clearly.
Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the tiny veins of the retina. Central retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the main retinal vein, and branch retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of one of the smaller branches of the retinal vein. When the main vein or branches of the main vein become blocked, blood and fluid build up, causing swelling in the macula, also known as “macular edema.” This can cause changes in the quality of your vision.
If you develop a complication like retinal vein occlusion, prompt attention is needed. The trusted team of doctors at Elman Retina Group have the knowledge and skills to determine the most suitable treatment and restore your retina to good health.
Causes and Symptoms
Retinal vein occlusion can occur because of a blood clot, narrowed blood vessels or pressure from a thickened artery pressing on the vein. It is more likely to affect people over the age of 50, and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis and other problems affecting blood flow.
The primary symptoms of retinal vein occlusion include blurry vision and vision loss. This may affect part or all of one of your eyes, and it may be subtle or very obvious. These changes to your vision may come on gradually or suddenly. Other symptoms of retinal vein occlusion include floaters, which are specks, lines, cobwebs or other spots that appear to float around in front of your eyes.
If you experience any changes in your vision that could indicate retinal vein occlusion, it is important to contact one of our doctors right away. Left untreated, retinal vein occlusion can cause permanent retinal damage and vision loss.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Retinal vein occlusion is diagnosed through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Your retina will be examined with a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. An imaging method called optical coherence tomography may be used to take pictures of the retina. A test called fluorescein angiography may be performed; during the test, dye is injected into a vein on your arm and travels through the blood vessels to the retina. Photographs are taken of the retina to show any blockages in the tiny blood vessels.
Although there is no way to unblock retinal veins, treatments can stabilize your vision and prevent further vision loss. Depending on the circumstances of your blockage, your doctor may recommend eye injections with anti-VEGF drugs or corticosteroids to reduce or stop swelling in the macula. Another treatment option is focal laser therapy, which uses a laser to create tiny burns around the macula and stop fluid from leaking out of the vessels.
You will also need to consult with your primary care physician to help manage any systemic disorders that could have caused retinal vein occlusion.
Schedule a Consultation with the Team at Elman Retina Group
To discuss any changes to your vision with the doctors at Elman Retina Group, please request an appointment with us today.