CRVO

Connecticut Retina Consultants

Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists located in New Haven, CT & Fairfield County, CT

If you have CRVO, or central retinal vein occlusion, it means there’s a blockage in the veins taking blood from your eye, and it can cause sight loss. The highly experienced ophthalmologists at Connecticut Retina Consultants have considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating CRVO at their offices in New Haven, Hamden, Madison, Trumbull, and Fairfield, Connecticut. Call Connecticut Retina Consultants today to find out more or arrange a consultation.

CRVO Q & A

What is CRVO?

CRVO is short for central retinal vein occlusion. This is a condition where the drainage system in your retina becomes blocked, affecting your vision.

The retina in the back of your eye is a layer of tissue that sends signals to your brain, via the optic nerve, about what you see. The retina gets its blood supply from the retinal artery. The blood passes through a network of small capillaries and arterioles before leaving via the central retinal vein.

If there’s a blockage in the vein, it creates pressure that can cause leakage, bleeding, and reduced blood flow to your retina. A blockage in the capillaries feeding the vein is called a branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).

Your ophthalmologist at Connecticut Retina Consultants can diagnose CRVO during a clinical examination.

How does CRVO affect my sight? 

There are two types of CRVO, ischemic central vein occlusion and non-ischemic central vein occlusion. Patients who have the non-ischemic type of CRVO typically have a better prognosis. However, 33% of these patients go on to develop the more serious ischemic version.

Ischemia, which means poor blood flow, can result in a severe deterioration in your vision. Non-ischemic CRVO typically has better blood flow, meaning a lower risk of deterioration.

CRVO most commonly affects people over the age of 50. Significant risk factors for developing CRVO include:

  • Systemic hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Smoking
  • Open angle glaucoma

In younger patients, blood-clotting abnormalities could be a factor. On rare occasions, uveitis can lead to CRVO. 

How is CRVO treated? 

Treatment for CRVO should start as soon as possible, as the better your vision is when you begin treatment, the better the outcomes are likely to be.

Your ophthalmologist can carry out a procedure called a fluorescein angiogram that helps determine whether your CRVO is ischemic or non-ischemic. You might also need to undergo ocular coherence tomography (OCT) to see how much swelling there is behind the macula (macular edema) in the center of your retina.

Laser treatment is useful for a complication of CRVO called neovascularization, which is the development of abnormal new blood vessels. However, lasers aren’t usually the best option for treating macular edema, particularly if you’re over 65.

A better option is an injection of a small amount of steroid (intravitreal Kenalog®) or anti-VEGF medication into the affected eye. This approach is known to reduce macular edema in CRVO and improve patients’ vision.

The effect of these injections is often temporary, so you need to return to Connecticut Retina Consultants for repeat injections.

In some cases, you might need to undergo surgery, but your ophthalmologist discusses the options with you during your consultation.

Find out more about CRVO or book an appointment by calling Connecticut Retina Consultants today.