Retinal vascular disease refers to a group of diseases that affect the blood vessels in the eye. They are all associated with systemic vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, vasculitis or arteriosclerosis (thickening of the arteries). The most common retinal vascular diseases are:
In the case of a too high blood pressure, the vessels narrow, start to leak and begin to harden. This happens especially when the blood vessels are exposed to high blood pressure for a long time. In severe cases, the optic nerve can also swell and lead to vision problems. The treatment lies primarily in the readjustment of blood pressure.
Retinal vein closures
This has to do with the closure of a vein found in the eye. A distinction is made between a central vein occlusion in which the central vein of the eye is closed, and the vein occlusion in which only one vein branch is closed. Depending on the extent and location of the venous occlusion, the symptoms can range from mild visual impairment to serious vision loss. The treatment of systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and arteriosclerosis is essential. The eye itself can, if required, be treated with laser coagulation or anti-VEGF therapy.
Central retinal artery occlusion
This is the occlusion of the central artery of the eye. As with the venous occlusions above, it can only come to the closure of an artery branch. This is called arterial branch closure. The occlusion of the central artery no longer brings oxygen into the eye, as a result permanent damage to the eye is a possibility. The affected patient notices a sudden loss of vision. Only with immediate diagnosis and therapy (eyebulb massage, eye pressure reduction and medicine) is there a small chance to regain your vision. Subsequently, the focus here is also on the treatment of systemic cardiovascular diseases. In particular, an arterial occlusion in the eye may be a warning sign of another occlusion in the eye, brain or elsewhere.
Diabetic retinopathy is treated separately under diabetes in the eye.