Newport Beach Retinal Vein Occlusion

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Age Related Eye Conditions and Diseases

Age can weaken your eyes and vision. Often glasses or contact lenses is enough to help you adjust to read better, distinguish colors, or adjust to glare. However, as you age, the risk for developing eye disease and disorders, such as retinal vein occlusion in Newport Beach, California, increases. There are several conditions to be aware of, and while they can affect anyone, of any age, people over 50 are most susceptible.

Understanding Retinal Vein Occlusion

One common age-related eye condition that can cause individuals serious health issues is retinal vein occlusion. There are two kinds of retinal vein occlusion, a condition which is often referred to by the acronym RVO. First, there is central retinal vein occlusion, also known as CRVO. CRVO manifests as a blockage of the primary retinal vein in either eye. Second, there is branch retinal vein occlusion, also known as BRVO. BRVO manifests as a blockage of any of the lesser/smaller branch veins in either eye.

The retina helps individuals process the images that they perceive every time they open their eyes. As described by the Mayo Clinic, “The retina contains millions of light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. Your retina sends this information to your brain through your optic nerve, enabling you to see.” When the health of the retina is compromised as a result of a blockage in the primary retinal vein (CRVO) or smaller branch veins (BRVO) – often due to a blood clot – an individual’s ability to see can become compromised as well. It is for this reason that it is so critical for anyone concerned about new sight-related symptoms to speak with our experienced Newport Beach retinal vein occlusion team as soon as they possibly can.

Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis

It’s important to understand that not every sight-related symptom or change is evidence of a serious problem. As noted below, there are many age-related eye conditions that prove to be harmless or relatively harmless. However, because the symptoms of these harmless conditions can also serve as symptoms of RVO, it’s critically important to speak with our team and to receive a formal diagnosis if there is a change in your vision. Making an assumption that your symptoms are harmless could, very unfortunately, cost you your sight.

If your vision begins to blur or you start to lose vision, connect with us immediately. RVO almost always only occurs in a single eye, but even if your symptoms are present in both eyes, it’s imperative that you seek care. You may experience immediate changes or changes over several hours or days. In addition to blurring or vision loss, you may experience spots or clouds in your field of vision – these occurrences are commonly referred to as floaters. You may also experience pain and an increase in eye pressure. Even if you’re only experiencing one or two of these symptoms, act now so that the experienced Southern California medical professionals at Retina Associates of Orange County can determine whether you’re at risk of losing your vision due to RVO or whether your symptoms are connected to a lesser diagnosis.

Non-RVO, Common, Usually Harmless, Age Related Eye Conditions

Presbyopia – The reduction or loss of ability to see objects up close or read small print. This is usually corrected with reading glasses. 

Floaters – Small spots that float around the field of vision. Usually these are normal and harmless. If flashes of light or the feeling of a sheer curtain being pulled over your vision occur, it could indicate a detached retina. This IS an emergency and needs to be addressed immediately. 

Dry Eyes – When the tear ducts cannot make enough tears, dry eyes can occur. This can result in discomfort, burning, or a temporary loss of vision. 

Over Tearing –Too many tears can happen after light or wind exposure or sudden changes in temperature. It could also be a sign of infection or a blocked tear duct. 

Although the above conditions are often harmless, it will be in your best interest to consult an eye doctor for further evaluation. You want to make sure that you do not have retinal vein occlusion in Newport Beach.

Common Age-Related Diseases and Disorders of the Eye that Require Immediate Treatment

Cataracts – These are cloudy areas that develop in the lens in the front of the eye. Cataracts are slow to form and generally cause no pain. Some remain small and do not alter the vision. When they become thick and/or large, an eye doctor might recommend surgical removal. 

Glaucoma  – Often associated with a pressure buildup inside the eye, if glaucoma is not treated, vision loss or blindness can result. Age, race, genetics, diabetes, and certain medications have been linked to glaucoma. Because there are no early signs of the disease, an eye exam is the best way to detect and treat glaucoma. 

Retinal Disorders – As the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., retinal disorders interfere with the transfer of images between the retina and brain. Common age related retinal disorders in Newport Beach include retinal vein occlusion, AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment.

Corneal Diseases – The cornea is a clear, dome shaped lens, or window, in the front of the eye. It is complex and vulnerable to disease, infection, injury, or other damage. When this  happens, reduced vision, redness, pain, and watery eyes could result. This condition is best treated early on with medications and eye drops. In some cases, surgery is required. 

Temporal Arteritis – When the temple area of the forehead, and other parts of the body, become inflamed, headache, pain while chewing, and sensitivity around the temples can result. Overtime weakness in the shoulders and hips, nausea, and fever may arise followed by abrupt loss of vision. Women over 65 are most prone to this condition. If you’re having any of these symptoms, please consult your physician who may refer you to an eye doctor. 

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam Now

Everyone who is over the age of 50 should have an annual eye exam that includes dilation of the eyes. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam now, please call to schedule an appointment with a Newport Beach retinal vein occlusion doctor from Retina Associates of Orange County.