Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion
Branch Retinal Artery
Most people know high blood pressure and other vascular
diseases pose risks to overall health, but many may not know that high blood
pressure can affect vision by damaging arteries in the eye.
Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) blocks the small
arteries in the retina, the light- sensing nerve layer lining the back of the
eye. The most common cause of BRAO is a thrombosis, the formation of a blood
clot. Sometimes the blockage is caused
by an embolus, a clot carried by the blood from another part of the body.
Central vision is lost suddenly if the blocked retinal
artery is one that nourishes the macula, the part of the retina responsible for
fine sharp vision. Following BRAO, vision
can range from normal (20/20) to barely detecting hand movement.
BRAO poses significant risks to vision. If you have had a
branch retinal artery occlusion or have high blood pressure, regular visits to
your ophthalmologist are essential.