Retinal Artery Occlusions
A retinal artery occlusion (RAO) occurs when an artery (blood vessel) is blocked. This stops the blood flow to the eye, which causes vision loss. The blockage is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the blood vessels within the retina or it can travel from a blocked blood vessel elsewhere. The blockage can travel to the eye from the neck or the heart; or there can be clotting in the eye itself.
Most patients who have an RAO are in their 60’s, however, it can occur in younger and older patients. Men are at a slightly higher risk. Patients with certain disorders such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, and some blood clotting disorders are also at a higher risk of having an RAO.