Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a common form of retinal vascular disease, especially in middle-aged and older individuals. It occurs when the vein providing outflow of blood from the retina becomes blocked and can cause vision loss, often suddenly. Unfortunately, reversing or opening of the blocked vein is not a possible treatment. While many patients will regain vision, it rarely returns to normal.
There are two primary types of RVO:
Branch (BRVO) occurs when the blockage is located in a branch of the retinal vein.
Central (CRVO) occurs when the blockage is located at the optic nerve.
Risk factors that can contribute to RVO include:
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)