Ocular Vascular Disease

Vascular disease of the eye can take many forms

  • Diabetes:
    Capillaries in the retina may be affected by diabetes and result in leakage of blood and serum exudates.  Capillaries may also occlude (capillary dropout) resulting in poor circulation to the retina.  Damage to the circulation of the retina is known as diabetic retinopathy.  In advanced diabetic eye disease, new and fragile blood vessels may develop in the retina and cause hemorrhages in the retina or the center of the eye (vitreous).
  • Temporal Arteritis:
    Inflammation of blood vessels with a tendency to affect the important blood vessels that nourish and feed the retina.  Unless the inflammnation in temporal arteritis is controlled, it may affect the central retinal artery and cause sudden and permanent visual loss.
  • Branch Vein Occlusion:
    A branch from the major artery that nourishes and feeds the retina may be occluded by a clot.  The degree of visual impairment depends on the extent and length of blockage.
  • Central Vein Occlusion:
    Blockage of the major vein that drains blood from the retina.  This condition is often associated with high blood pressure.
  • Central Retinal Artery Occlusion:
    Blockage of the major artery that supplies blood to the retina.

Case in Point

Dr. Reynard described the first effective laser treatment for embolic occlusion of the central retinal artery.  His article was published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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