What is central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)?

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the second most common cause of vision loss from diseases that affect the blood vessels in the retina.

What is CRVO? - Click to watch a video about central retinal vein occlusion.

Exactly why CRVO develops is not fully understood, but there are some specific things that happen within the eye that lead to vision disturbances:

  • CRVO occurs when the central retinal vein becomes blocked, or occluded, and obstructs blood flow from the eye
  • The central retinal artery compresses the central retinal vein, either due to hypertension or hardening of the arteries
  • Compression of the central retinal vein leads to sluggish blood flow and, eventually, blockage
  • The blockage also causes proteins to be released that weaken the blood vessel and cause it to leak fluid and blood into the retina, causing swelling

Vision loss in CRVO is primarily caused by macular edema. This involves the accumulation of fluid in the center and most visually sensitive portion of the retina, known as the macula.

  • Macular edema requires prompt treatment to help improve vision or slow vision loss