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If you experience sudden blurring or even a loss of vision in part of all of one eye, you may be experiencing a Retinal Vein Occlusion. While some may just try to rub their eye and see whether it goes away after a few days, it actually could be a blockage in the small veins of your eye that carries blood away from the retina. As the inner eye converts images to your brain, the nerve signals are affected – sending your brain blurred or partially blurred images. Fortunately, it is uncommon for both eyes to be affected at the same time.

There are two types of retinal vein occlusion. They are:

1. Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) – when the 4 retinal veins come together, a blood clot occurs in the main retinal vein

2. Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) – Occurring 2-3 times more often than Central Retinal Vein Occlusion, Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion occurs when there is a blockage along one of the 4 retinal veins.

Retinal vein occlusion usually occurs in older people as the risk factors of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis, as well as other related eye diseases such as glaucoma, vitreous haemorrhage, autoimmune diseases, and macular oedema increase with age. Retinal vein occlusion can cause glaucoma as it increases the pressure in the front of the eye. It can also cause macula oedema as the blood veins may leak fluid in the retina. In the worst case scenario, blood vessels may grow and cause severe painful glaucoma and scarring if it is not treated quickly.