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Retinal Vascular Disorders

Retinal Vascular Disorders - What it is

Retinal vascular disorders refer to a range of eye diseases that affect the blood vessels in the retina and the eye. These conditions are linked to vascular diseases in the rest of the body, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes – conditions that cause atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls) and narrowing of blood vessels.

The most common retinal vascular disorders are: 

  • Diabetic Retinopathy – Read more about Diabetic Retinopathy here
  • Hypertensive Retinopathy
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO)

Hypertensive Retinopathy
High 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 and retina to swell and result in vision problems.

Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a common vascular disorder where the vein becomes narrowed and blocked. RVO is one of the most frequent retinal vascular disorders, 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 about 30% of all vein blockages. RVO can affect vision in a few ways, including swelling in the macula (the central part of the retina crucial for sharp central vision), lack of blood flow in the retina, and development of abnormal blood vessels that can cause bleeding, retinal detachment, or glaucoma.

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)

Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO)
There are two main types of RAO. A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a sudden 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 and blindness often occurs. When the blockage occurs in one of the smaller branches of the central retinal artery, it is called a branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO). Patients with RAO have a high risk of having blockage of other arteries in the brain, which can cause a stroke.

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO)

Retinal Vascular Disorders - Preparing for surgery

Retinal Vascular Disorders - Post-surgery care

Retinal Vascular Disorders - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth