Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
Central Retinal Artery
You probably know high blood pressure and other vascular
diseases pose risks to your overall health, but you may not know that they can
affect your eyesight by damaging the arteries in your eye.
CRAO usually occurs in people between the ages of 50 and
70. The most common medical problem associated with CRAO is arteriosclerosis,
hardening of the arteries. Carotid artery disease is found in almost half the
people with CRAO.
The most common cause of CRAO is a thrombosis, an abnormal
blood clot formation. Sometimes CRAO is caused by an embolus, a clot that
breaks off from another area of the body and is carried to the retina by the
Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) blocks the central
artery in your retina, the light-sensitive nerve layer at the back of the eye.
The first sign of CRAO is a sudden and painless loss of vision that leaves you
barely able to count fingers or determine light from dark.
Loss of vision can be permanent without immediate
treatment. Irreversible retinal damage occurs after 90 minutes, but even 24
hours after symptoms begin, vision may still be saved. The goal of emergency
treatment is to restore retinal blood flow. After emergency treatment, you
should have a thorough medical evaluation.