Small arteries inside the eye carry blood to the retina, a layer of nerve tissue that plays an important role in your ability to see. A retinal artery occlusion is a blockage of one or more of these arteries. As a result, you may experience sudden blurred vision or blindness in at least part of the eye. A retinal artery occlusion may go away after a short time, but in some cases it can be permanent.
Retinal artery occlusion is often a sign of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can make it difficult for blood to flow normally. The arteries can also become blocked by blood clots, and an occlusion may indicate blood clots elsewhere in the body. If a clot lodges in the brain, it can cause a stroke. It’s important to see a doctor right away if your vision suddenly changes.