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FAQs on Retinal Artery Occlusion: 

What is retinal artery occlusion?

Retinal artery occlusion can occur when the artery located in your retina becomes blocked, making it unable to transfer oxygen and cells to the back of the eye and causing a severe loss of vision. When discussing central retinal vein occlusion vs central retinal artery occlusion with your ophthalmologist, it’s important to remember that while both conditions affect blood vessels, one affects the veins and the other affects an artery.

What are the causes of retinal artery occlusion?

Your retinal artery can become clogged for a variety of reasons, particularly by an embolus (or a piece of cholesterol) or a thrombus (blood clot). Because of this, any risk factors for high cholesterol or blood clots are also risk factors for retinal artery occlusion. The most common risk factors include:

  • Arterial disease or valvular heart disease
  • Myxoma, or heart tumors
  • Abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle cell disease
  • History of intravenous drug use

Retinal artery occlusion is most often found in male patients in their sixties and older, and usually affects only one eye.

What are the symptoms of retinal artery occlusion?

The primary symptom of retinal artery occlusion is sudden vision loss in one eye. The location of your vision loss will depend on which portion of the artery has become affected. their eyes. Like retinal vein occlusion, there are two types of retinal artery occlusion with slightly different symptoms:

  • Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), which affects a main artery and causes more severe vision loss.
  • Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), which affects smaller arteries and causes a less severe loss of vision in a smaller section of your eye.

How can you treat retinal artery occlusion?

The best way to avoid retinal artery occlusion is to manage your risk factors and prevent symptoms from appearing in the first place. While there is no single proven cure for retinal artery occlusion, Dr. Parvus can employ several therapeutic techniques to help manage your symptoms. These techniques include:

  • Hyperventilation, which involves inhaling carbogen (95% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide) to dilate your arteries and dislodge the clot.
  • Paracentesis, which involves removing fluid from the front of the eye using a small needle to dislodge the clot.
  • Medication, which can help to lower intraocular pressure.
  • Ocular massage, during which gentle massage with a thumb may dislodge the clot.

If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of retinal artery occlusion, reach out to Dr. Parvus immediately, as all of these therapies lose effectiveness within the first 6 hours after symptoms appear.   

Retinal Artery Occlusion Treatment - Media, PA

Retinal artery occlusion is a result of blockage in the artery located in your retina. When blood is unable to travel through this artery, it can result in severe loss of vision that can be detrimental to your quality of life.

At Infinity Retina, Dr. Britt J. Parvus is highly-experienced in diagnosing and treating symptoms of retinal artery occlusion. Here are several techniques Dr. Pavus can perform to help manage your symptoms:

  • Hyperventilation- Inhaling carbogen (95% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide to dilate your arteries to dislodge the clot.
  • Paracentesis- Removal of the fluid in the front of the eye to dislodge the clot blocking the artery.
  • Medication- Reduces intraocular pressure.
  • Ocular massage- A gentle massage intended to dislodge the clot blocking the artery.

Dr. Parvus will work alongside you to discover a treatment option in which you can feel comfortable and confident.

If you are suffering from retinal artery occlusion symptoms, do wait to receive treatment. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Parvus today to receive the care you deserve or call (610) 606-1671.