What to Know About Retinal Artery Occlusion


Retinal artery occlusion is a condition that occurs when the arteries in the eye become blocked or narrowed. This blockage disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the retina. It can result in severe vision loss and blindness if left untreated. It is essential to understand this condition and how it affects your eyes. This way, you can get the best treatment possible.

Causes of Retinal Artery Occlusion

Atherosclerosis is the most common underlying factor behind retinal artery occlusion. It occurs when fatty deposits, like cholesterol, accumulate on arterial walls, and these deposits restrict normal blood flow. Other possible causes include diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and other vascular diseases. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Retinal Artery Occlusion

The most common symptom of retinal artery occlusion is sudden vision loss in one or both eyes. Other symptoms can include eye pain, redness, and distorted vision. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam to check for any signs of inflammation or infection. An ophthalmologist may use imaging scans for further evaluation.

Treatments for Retinal Artery Occlusion

Treatment for retinal artery occlusion depends on the underlying cause. Medications like blood thinners or corticosteroids help with inflammation and unblock any arteries. Surgery is usually a last resort for more severe cases.

Preventing Retinal Artery Occlusion

You can reduce your risk of retinal artery occlusion by lowering your risk factors. These include quitting smoking, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. If you’re at higher risk due to diabetes or family history, visit your eye doctor for checkups.

If you experience blurriness or sudden vision loss, seek immediate medical attention. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can help protect your eyes and vision.

Windy City Retina, Dr. Ankit Desai, in the Chicagoland area, offers comprehensive care for retinal artery occlusion and other eye conditions. Contact us at 815-714-9115 today to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Windy City Retina – Ankit Desai, MD

15905 S Frederick St
Suite 105
Plainfield, IL 60586