A retinal artery occlusion
occurs when the central retinal artery or one of the arteries that
branch off of it becomes blocked. This blockage is typically caused by a
tiny embolus (clot) in the blood stream. The occlusion decreases the
oxygen supply to the area of the retina nourished by the affected
artery, causing permanent vision loss.
In this photograph, the affected area of the retina is the pale,
whitish-yellow region (blue arrows) that is normally supplied by the
blocked artery (white arrow). The surrounding reddish-orange area is
healthy retina tissue.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
•Transient loss of vision prior to the artery occlusion (in some cases)
•Sudden, painless and complete loss of vision in one eye (Central artery
•Sudden, painless, partial loss of vision in one eye (Branch artery
DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS
Artery occlusion is diagnosed by examining the retina with an
Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can consistently restore
vision lost from an artery occlusion. However, if it is caught within
the first hour and treatment is initiated immediately, recovery is
possible in rare cases.
The following conditions increase the risk of problems that may affect
the vessels of the eye: