We use our eyes to navigate the world around us, and without the brain translating what we see everything would appear upside down. This is because light is refracted through the convex lens in our eye to our retinas, the image flips causing everything to appear inverted before it travels to our brains through the optic nerve. Without the retina’s ability to process light and convert it to electrical impulses that go to your brain, the information you receive would be a lot worse than inverted images you have to correct.
Over time, a lot of conditions can make seeing harder, but a lesser known but possibly damaging problem that can lead to vision loss is retinal vascular occlusion. There are different types of this condition that can harm your vision, but there are ways to help treat it, including eye injections. To find out how, let’s examine what this condition is, its causes and risk factors, and how this treatment can improve your sight.
If you live in the Muncie, Indiana, area and you’re struggling with vision issues due to retinal vascular occlusion, Dr. Jeffrey Rapkin and his experienced medical staff at Retina Consultants of Muncie can help you see better.
Located in the back of your eye, your retina is a light-sensitive tissue layer covered in cones and rods (specialized neural signal sending cells) and is essential to how you see things. It also needs blood to get oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your eye, and any waste the retina produces is washed away by blood. An occlusion occurs when blood vessels or other fluids build up and keep the retina from filtering light, making translating images in your brain much harder. The types of this occlusion depend on the blood vessels affected, and can be either retinal artery or vein occlusions. Artery occlusion results from blockages in small branches of blood vessels, and vein occlusions create serious blockages in the larger veins and major arteries in your eye.
The primary reason people get this condition is due to a blood flow disruption in your retinal vein, which can happen for a few reasons, such as a blood clot, a slowing down of blood flow, and retinal vein compression (which can be from aging or plaque buildup). The damage caused by vein compression can actually lead to blood clots if it affects the inner lining of the vein. Other conditions that can lead to retinal vascular occlusion include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), diabetes, hypertension, previous history of this problem, and glaucoma.
Left unchecked, this problem can lead to complications like neovascular glaucoma, vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding in your eye), cystoid macular edema (macular swelling), neovascularization of the eye, and retinal detachment.
There are two types of injections that can be used to help with this condition:
The main goal of these injections is to reduce the swelling that retinal vascular occlusion can lead to and avoid some of the possible complications.
This injection is used to treat blood vessels that are either leaking or abnormal, and is placed into the vitreous cavity near the retina in the back of your eye. There are four different medications that can be used, but treated at the right point, it can help to preserve your vision.
The amount of vision you regain will depend on the severity of your condition, so getting examined for chances of this illness as early as possible is key to keeping as much of your sight for as long as possible. So if you’re struggling with vision changes due to this or other eye problems, make an appointment with Dr. Rapkin and his team at the Retina Consultants of Muncie today to get treatment.