Retinal vascular disorders refer to a range of eye diseases that affect the blood vessels in the eye. These conditions are linked to existing vascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes – conditions that cause atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls).
The most common retinal vascular disorders are:
Hypertensive RetinopathyHigh blood pressure (hypertension) causes the blood vessels in the eye to narrow, leak and harden over time as these vessels are subject to continued excessive blood pressure. In some cases, this can cause the optic nerve to swell and result in vision problems.
Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a common vascular disorder where the vein becomes narrowed or obstructed (occluded). RVO is one of the most frequent causes of blindness after diabetic retinopathy. There are two main types of RVO. An RVO that happens in the retinal vein at the optic nerve is called a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO).
About 90% of CRVO occurs in those aged 50 and above. An obstruction at a branch of the retinal vein is referred to as Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO). BRVO accounts for some 30% of all vein blockages. Complications include swelling in the macula and proliferation of new vessels causing glaucoma. Central Retinal Artery Occlusion and Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion (BRAO)A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage of the central retinal artery – the main blood vessel that brings blood and oxygen to the eye. This is a very serious condition that requires emergency treatment. When the main source of oxygen to the eye is blocked, permanent damage can occur. When the blockage occurs in one of the branches of the central retinal artery, it is called a branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO).
Central Retinal Artery Occlusion