What is retinal vein thrombosis?

It consists of partial or total obstruction of the retinal veins. It can affect the central retinal vein (central venous thrombosis) or only a branch of this central vein (branch venous thrombosis).
When the vein becomes blocked, blood continues to enter the tissues through the arteries and venous engorgement and subsequent rupture of the capillaries occurs. These vascular changes cause a typical picture of retinal haemorrhage in the affected territory.


Sudden, painless visual loss is the most common symptom of venous thrombosis. This is because the area of the retina affected by the obstruction of the vein suffers a lack of oxygenation (ischaemia) and causes the death of the retinal nerve cells and, consequently, a loss of its visual function.
The visual prognosis will depend on the territory affected and its proximity to the macula (centre of vision).

Can retinal vein thrombosis be prevented?

Yes, retinal vein thrombosis is a vascular disease and there are several preventive measures to help avoid it:
• Blood pressure monitoring
• Cholesterol control
• Avoiding smoking


In addition to preventive measures, intraocular injections are available to treat these patients (corticosteroids, anti-angiogenics). However, in some cases, laser therapies (photocoagulation) and even ocular surgery are necessary.

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