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Central/Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

A vein occlusion occurs when the circulation of blood to a retinal vein becomes obstructed by an adjacent blood vessel. There are two types of occlusion: central and branch.

What Are The Symptoms of Central/Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion?

  • Sudden vision loss
  • Blurred or missing area of vision (if a branch vein is involved)
  • Severe loss of central vision (if a central vein is involved)

What Causes a Central/Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion?

Factors contributing to vein occlusions include:
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

How Is a Central/Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion is Treated?

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion:

There are limited medical treatments for retinal branch vein occlusion. Anti-coagulants such as heparin, coumadin, and aspirin have not been shown to be of value in preventing branch vein occlusion and in managing its complications. Folic acid may be useful, and new anti VEGF injections seem promising.

In some cases branch retinal vein occlusion can be managed by laser treatments. Your ophthalmologist will determine whether this procedure is appropriate for your treatment.

Central Vein Occlusions may require a general physical exam and blood work to determine the cause. Treatment of the systemic cause may help resolve the central vein occlusion. Sometime a dye study test may be performed to help use treat this problem. Laser therapy may be necessary for the most serious complication of this problem, known as neovascular glaucoma.

Promising new therapy with Avastin has helped improve outcomes in this difficult disease. Ask your doctor about this treatment.

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