A retinal vessel occlusion is a blockage in the blood vessel of your eye that can result in sight loss.

There are two types of retinal blood vessels, arteries and veins. Either of these can become blocked and each of them can affect the eye in different ways. The visual loss caused by retinal vein and artery occlusions is painless. It is usual for only one eye to be involved at a time, but occasionally both eyes may be affected at the same time.

When a vessel occlusion is suspected or discovered; commonly by a GP or optometrist (commonly called an optician); you will be referred to see an ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor). Treatment may not be needed; but if it is, then earlier treatment can improve the outcome. There can be complications following a vessel occlusion, so you will usually be monitored at the hospital after diagnosis. While it’s possible to be unaware that you’ve had a vessel occlusion, it usually changes your vision in some way, though this may improve with time.

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