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Retinal Vein Occlusion:

What is a Retinal Vein Occlusion?
Retinal veins are tiny blood vessels that drain blood from the retina back towards the heart. Occasionally a blockage can develop, leading to back pressure in the blood vessels, which can bleed and become leaky. The affected retina can become swollen and haemorrhagic, which impairs the vision.

What are the symptoms?
This may vary from sudden loss of vision, which may be severe, to mild blurring of vision.

Are there different types of vein occlusion?
Yes – if the main vein is affected, a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion or CRVO, all areas of the retina are involved by bleeding. This tends to be the most serious sort of vein occlusion.
If only a smaller vein is affected, involving only part of the retina, this is a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion or BRVO.


Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)

Who is affected?
Anyone can be affected, but it is more common in patients with:
High blood pressure
High cholesterol

Can it be treated?
Yes. The vision is mainly affected by development of swelling in the central retina (macular oedema), together with haemorrhage. Haemorrhage will slowly clear, but macular oedema can be reduced by intravitreal anti-VEGF injections (eg: Lucentis) or steroid (Ozurdex) implant. If macular oedema resolves, usually the vision improves.
Mr Charles will examine you to confirm the diagnosis, and recommend the most appropriate therapy for you. Laser treatment is also sometimes required as a supplementary treatment.

CRVO Pre Avastin CRVO Post Avastin
OCT scan of macular oedema after CRVO

OCT scan of same patient after intravitreal anti-VEGF injections, showing macular profile now normal

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