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Retinal Vein Occlusion

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Brian R. Robinson, MD

Retinal vein occlusion falls under the general category of retinal vessel occlusion, or blockage, of blood supply to the retina. It occurs as a result of blood clot formation or loose fat deposits or atherosclerotic plaques in either the arteries or veins connected to the retina. The retina is a special light-sensitive tissue layer in the back of the eye. Blockage of blood supply, thus, can lead to permanent vision loss. This condition is more common in adults and occurs as a side effect of other associated illnesses, including glaucoma, hypertension, diabetes, coagulation (blood clotting) diseases, arteriosclerosis , and hyperlipidemia.

There is also a risk of stroke as a clot blocking the retinal vein could dislodge and travel to the brain where it can block another vein.

Last updated: Jan-01-00

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