Retinal Artery Occlusions

Learn More About Retinal Artery Occlusion Treatments at Aurora

What is a Retinal Artery Occlusion?

Retinal artery occlusion is blockage of one or more small arteries in the eye that carry blood to the retina. These arteries can be blocked by fatty buildup (plaque) in the arteries, or they can be blocked by blood clots that lodge within them. When these arteries are blocked, it can cause sudden blurred vision or vision loss in the entire eye or part of the eye. It’s possible that a retinal artery occlusion may only last for a short time, but it’s also possible that it can be permanent. It can also be a sign of blood clots elsewhere in the body. Blood clots that lodge in the brain may cause a stroke.

It’s important to seek immediate medical care if you ever have sudden changes in your vision.

Retinal artery occlusion often happens when people have artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in the arteries within the eyes. Artherosclerosis causes a plaque buildup in the arteries, which narrows the arteries and makes it difficult for blood to pass through normally. Improper blood flow can lead to many problems. Hardened or narrowed arteries put people at higher risk for blood clots as well, which is one cause of retinal artery occlusion.

How Are Retinal Artery Occlusions Treated?

Retinal artery occlusions are medical emergencies that must be treated immediately for the best chance at saving your vision.

Because retinal artery occlusion is often a complication of other conditions (artherosclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol), treating and managing these underlying conditions is important to prevent retinal artery occlusions – either before one has occurred or after.

Aurora Health Care ophthalmologists work in conjunction with other doctors, including internal/family medicine doctors and cardiologists, to come up with a treatment plan that will address eye problems and risks along with underlying conditions.

Treatment for retinal artery occlusion will depend on a number of factors, including the length of time that has passed since symptoms began. Some ophthalmologists will administer a clot busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to break up the clot in hopes of saving or restoring vision. However, this drug must be given within a short time after symptoms began or it will be ineffective.

Why Choose Aurora Health Care For Your Eye Care Needs?

When it comes to caring for your eyes and vision, you want the best. And at Aurora, our ophthalmologists in Wisconsin and northern Illinois are dedicated to providing the best, most advanced eye care and treatments available today.

Because Aurora eye care experts work within the entire Aurora Health Care system, they can offer you so much more than simple vision care. At Aurora, you’ll get:

  • Expert care at any hour of the day – At Aurora, we have board-certified ophthalmologists on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for you if you have an eye emergency – even if it’s at 3 a.m.
  • Care focused on you – Every one of our ophthalmologists believes that involving patients in the decisions that affect them, making them a part of their health care team, and making sure they understand their condition and treatment options is the best way to deliver outstanding care. At Aurora, you can expect us to focus on you, delivering the best possible care for you.
  • Immediate access to referrals – Aurora Health Care offers hundreds of specialists under one roof, as part of one integrated health care team. Some eye conditions are signs of other conditions, such as diabetes, vascular disease and neurological issues. If your ophthalmologist sees evidence of other disease during your eye exam, he or she can make a referral to another specialist and get you an appointment right away.
  • Convenient care in multiple locations – Aurora has eye care specialists in a variety of locations across eastern Wisconsin. We have clinics, hospitals and surgery centers that offer the entire spectrum of eye care.
  • Care for infants through senior citizens – At Aurora, we have eye care ophthalmologists who specialize in eye care for both adults and children. Our pediatric ophthalmologists are specially trained to diagnose and treat eye conditions in children.
  • Innovation – You can expect innovative treatments using the latest advancements in technology, including:

How Do I Schedule a Consultation With an Ophthalmologist?

To schedule a consultation or appointment with an ophthalmologist at Aurora, call one of our ophthalmology offices directly. View the list of Aurora ophthalmologists.