Central Retinal Artery Occlusion Awareness

Posted Thursday, July 20, 2017

Did You Know? Two-thirds of patients have high blood pressure

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion Is Considered A “Stroke” Of The Eye! 

A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage of the main artery supplying the retina of the eye

The retina is the layer of cells at the back of the eye that let us see light and color. The blockage usually comes from a clot or fatty deposit in your blood vessel. If the blood clot breaks free and moves to the brain, it can cause a stroke.  

This resource is intended to help educate patients on CRAO risk factors, symptoms and treatment options.   

01 | CRAO Risk Factors

There are some common risk factors associated with CRAO, these include: 

  • Diabetes
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • Certain types of arthritis
  • Certain heart valve problems
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Blood clot
  • Age – this condition is most common in people who are from 50 to 70 years old.

02 | Symptoms

Central retinal artery occlusion causes sudden, painless, severe vision loss or visual field effect.  There are no symptoms before it happens.

If only a branch of the artery is blocked, there may be partial loss of vision coming from the area of the retina that is not receiving blood.  

03 | Treatment

No treatment method has been shown conclusively to benefit CRAO. If you are seen within 24 hours after acute vision loss begins, the ophthalmologist may attempt to dislodge the embolus through methods such as:

  • Using glaucoma medications to decrease internal eye pressure.
  • Inhaling 5 percent carbon dioxide and then using ocular massage.
  • Performing a minor surgical known as anterior chamber paracentesis, in which numbing drops are used and a small amount of fluid is withdrawn from the front of the eye.

If you suffer from diabetes, are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are between the ages of 50 and 70 you should be aware of the signs of CRAO.

Your Ophthalmologist may diagnose CRAO after an examination of the eye, including a dilated pupil exam. For additional resources on CRAO, please visit: http://www.aao.org/ 

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