Central retinal vein
Short in length, the central retinal vein runs through the optic nerve. It carries blood away from the retina toward the heart. When the blood flow into the central retinal vein becomes blocked, central retinal vein occlusion, or CRVO, occurs. This ailment in its severe form will cause a total loss of vision accompanied by pain. Most commonly seen in middle-aged and elderly people, it affects over 60,000 people per year. Primary open-angle glaucoma occurs when the pressure within the increases. People suffering from this type of glaucoma are at risk of developing CRVO. People who suffer from vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and atherosclerosis are also at risk. When the retina becomes inflamed, retinal vasculitis occurs. This inflammation causes a clot formation called thrombosis that can lead to central retinal vein occlusion. Patients suffering from CRVO show little or no improvement over time. However, management of risk factors decreases the risk of progression or recurrence. In some cases, doctors will perform laser surgery for the most severe cases.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Central retinal vein