An ocular condition called Branch Vein Occlusion occurs when the blood flow in one of the retinal veins becomes blocked. This occlusion is caused by hardening of the arteries which impedes the blood flow through the veins. This results in an increased pressure within the vein resulting in hemorrhaging and swelling within the retina. This bleeding and swelling in the retina reduces vision. Branch Vein Occlusions tend to happen in people often with some history of high blood pressure. Sometimes months or even years following a Branch Vein Occlusion new blood vessels form on the surface of the retina to try to replace damaged ones. These new blood vessels can easily rupture, causing further hemorrhage and damage to the inside of the eye.
Treatment of vein occlusions currently consist of cauterization by a light beam (laser photocoagulation) and of injections of medicine into the eye to reduce the amount of hemorrhage and swelling and to prevent the formation of the dangerous new blood vessels from forming within the eye. These treatments are used to try and improve the swelling in the retina to stabilize and sometimes to improve the vision. Dr. Srouji will discuss with you the benefits and risks associated with these choices of treatment.