Central retinal artery

Central retinal artery refers to a blood vessel inside the eye. It provides important nutrition to the retina. The retina lines at the back of the eye and is full of cone cells and rods, which transmit messages to the occipital lobe cerebral cortex. These messages give individuals the ability to tell the difference between light and dark, as well as colors. The central retinal vein returns the blood to the heart. The artery is a branch from the ophthalmic artery, and works to form the arterioles of the retina. If the central retinal artery becomes occluded, a rare occlusovascular disease known as central retinal artery occlusion can occur. This disease affects retinal circulation, which causes a painless and sudden, loss of vision. Causes for this condition can include retinal embolism, atherosclerosis, atherosclerosis, and different forms of arteritis.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Central retinal artery

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