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Retinal Vasculopathies

Did you know that high blood pressure can affect the inside of your eye?

The majority of patients with vascular problems in the retina will also have systemic problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), chronic open-angle glaucoma, diabetes, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and high cholesterol. An artery occlusion usually occurs due to an embolus (clot) in the blood stream while a vein occlusion usually occurs due to a thrombus (non-moving clot) that has formed in the vein due to blood turbulance. The retina is very sensitive to the oxygen supply it receives from the bloodstream, and can be permanently damaged quickly. Most artery or vein occlusions do not have any pain associated with them but are characterized by sudden and severe vision loss. If you ever experience a loss in your vision, even for brief seconds, you should always see your eye doctor.