A retinal artery occlusion (RAO) is a blockage in one or more of the arteries of your retina. The blockage is caused by a clot or occlusion in an artery, or a build-up of cholesterol in an artery. This is similar to a stroke. There are two types of RAOs:
- Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) blocks the small arteries in your retina.
- Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage in the central artery in your retina.
The most common symptom of a retinal artery occlusion (RAO) is sudden, painless vision loss. It can affect all of one eye, or it can affect part of one eye, in the case of branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO). Other symptoms include, loss of peripheral vision, distorted vision, and blind spots.
To diagnose a retinal artery occlusion, we will perform a dilated eye exam and perform extensive diagnostic testing.
Several treatments have been tried but none have ever been proven to help consistently. Some patients regain vision after a retinal artery occlusion, although vision is often not as good as it was before. In some cases, vision loss can be permanent.