Vascular diseases of the retina


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Vascular diseases of the retina are most often associated with decreased visual acuity. Disorders of the blood vessels of the retina may involve some eye diseases that affect their functioning. Very often these conditions are related to vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes or atherosclerosis (artery wall thickening).

High blood pressure causes the blood vessels of the eyes to become narrow, leak and harden over time when exposed to the constant pressure of excessive blood pressure inside the eye.

The most common vascular diseases of the retina include:

  • hypertensive retinopathy;
  • the occlusion of the vein of the retina;
  • the central occlusion of the occlusive artery;
  • diabetic retinopathy;
  • others.

If you experience any symptoms of vascular disease, you should immediately consult a doctor. This state often needed a quickly performed surgical procedure that will help to unclog blood flow that reduces pressure inside the artery and prevents vision loss.

Symptoms of retinal vascular disease

Vascular diseases of the retina can cause sudden and completely painless vision loss, so they are very insidious and unpredictable. For example, diabetic retinopathy may not be noticeable in the early stages, but it may show a reduction in visual acuity or the appearance of necrosis.

Sudden vision loss or sudden loss of vision, as well as other eye changes, are signals that should be disturbing, so you should seek medical attention immediately.

Causes of vascular disease of the blood vessels of the retina

Diseases of the blood vessels of the retina occur most often in people with high blood pressure, diabetes or other conditions that cause vascular problems throughout the body. The risk of their appearance increases with age, high cholesterol or smoking. Vascular diseases include diseases of the retina such as aneurysms, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or ischemic eye syndrome.

Cause problems with the vessels of the retina are therefore all the conditions that can block blood flow in all structures of the eye, which may result in temporary loss of vision or blindness.

Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the blood vessels of the retina

If symptoms or suspicion of retinal vascular disease develops, the doctor will examine the history of illness and conduct a thorough eye examination.


Imaging tests can help to determine the condition of blood vessels in the inner structure of the eye and retina. The most commonly used are angiography: ultrasound and fluorescein. The first one utilizes sound waves of high frequency, while the second allows the detection of vascular problems in the retina, and choroid of the eye using the dye injection and specialized equipment.

Treatment of blood vessel diseases of the retina is a restoration of blood flow, which can be achieved in various ways depending on the cause. Among therapeutic techniques, the following can be mentioned:

  • Laser therapy – it serves to destroy abnormal blood vessels, which helps to reduce swelling and leakage from blood vessels; A series of laser treatments is often required;
  • Reducing eye pressure with eye drops – most often in patients with glaucoma, often the next stage is surgery;
  • Vitrectomy – a microsurgical procedure which is used in advanced vascular diseases of the retina, e.g., in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, hemorrhage vitreous, and the like;
  • Treatment of primary systemic disease, the result of which is a disease of the blood vessels of the retina, it has a decisive influence on the effective reversal of the effects of illness and preventing further damage.

To prevent the occurrence of retinal vascular disease, it is necessary to control blood pressure and sugar levels as they are essential for prevention and treatment. It is important to exclude certain systemic diseases that cause vascular problems and thus expose the blockage of small blood vessels to the eyes.

The risk of developing the retinal vascular disease is increased in people with diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and some eye diseases. In elderly patients, the most common condition that can worsen the functioning of the blood vessels in the eye is macular degeneration (which is a disease of the vascular system).

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