The retina, the nervous tissue that covers the innermost part of the eyeball, is made up of 10 layers from the outside to the inside of the eyeball. Since photoreceptor cells that receive stimulation by light are distributed, they are responsible for forming an image of an object that has passed through the cornea and lens. The retina is composed of a retinal artery that supplies oxygen and nutrients-rich blood to the retina, a retinal vein that returns used blood from the retina to the heart, and several blood vessels that branch off from the retinal artery and retinal vein. Retinal artery occlusion refers to a disease in which symptoms such as loss of vision occur as normal blood circulation is not achieved due to blockage of blood vessels such as arteries and veins in the retina due to various causes. It is similar to a stroke caused by a blood circulation disorder, so it is also called an eye stroke or eye stroke. Although the exact cause of retinal artery occlusion is not known, it is known that various diseases such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes that cause problems in normal blood circulation act as risk factors and affect the occurrence. It has a characteristic that the incidence rate increases with age, so it occurs more often in the 50s and 70s, and it is known as a disease with a high incidence in the cold winter, when blood vessels are easy to constrict. Now, let’s learn more about the various symptoms, treatment, and prevention of retinal artery occlusion in more detail.
Main symptoms of retinal artery occlusion
The main symptom of retinal artery occlusion is decreased visual acuity. Depending on the location where the retina is closed, the speed and degree of deterioration of vision will vary. In the case of central artery occlusion, which appears due to occlusion of the retinal artery, sudden visual disturbances such as dark clouds appear in both fields of vision. In addition, central retinal vein occlusion, which is caused by blockage of the central vein, also results in sharp visual impairment. Unlike retinal arteries, it usually occurs in one eye. In addition, branch retinal vein occlusion is more common than central vein occlusion, and there are no symptoms at first, but visual acuity is gradually lost, and visual disturbances may be accompanied.
Since the incidence of retinal artery occlusion is high in middle-aged people, when symptoms appear, it is considered to be a simple presbyopia and neglected. Retinal artery occlusion is an emergency ophthalmic disease that needs to be treated as soon as possible. In particular, central retinal artery occlusion, which causes visual impairment in both eyes, can cause loss of vision due to nerve tissue damage if blood flow to the retina is not restored within 24 hours. say you can. In addition, central retinal vein occlusion caused by blockage of retinal veins causes edema of blood vessels, which not only causes severe loss of vision, but also increases intraocular pressure due to the formation of new blood vessels, which increases the risk of complications such as glaucoma. Therefore, when these related symptoms appear, it is of utmost importance to provide emergency treatment as soon as possible so as not to delay treatment. In addition, in the case of middle-aged people with a high incidence rate, it is very important to regularly implement a management habit for prevention through regular check-ups every year.
Retinal artery occlusion treatment and prevention
1. Treatment based on multiple tests and diagnosed results
In order to diagnose retinal occluded blood vessels, visual acuity and intraocular pressure are measured to determine the degree of visual acuity decrease, and various tests such as slit lamp microscope, ophthalmoscope, retinal tomography, and fluorescein angiography are performed to confirm the exact condition. Since retinal artery occlusion is an emergency disease that requires immediate treatment, you must receive treatment to actively lower the intraocular pressure within 2 hours of onset. There is no known way to completely cure retinal vein occlusion. Treatments such as panocular photocoagulation are performed to continue treatment to relieve symptoms of poor blood supply to retinal tissue and to prevent the formation of new blood vessels. In addition to implementing these various treatment methods, treatment of causative diseases such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes that affect the development of retinal blood vessels is performed simultaneously.
2. Steady exercise
In order to prevent retinal artery occlusion, it is very important to maintain a regular health care habit. In particular, regular exercise has an important effect on the prevention and improvement of various vascular and metabolic diseases known as causative diseases, so it is important to do it consistently. It is said that it is appropriate to exercise regularly, such as walking, jogging, or cycling, at least 3 times a week. And excessive mental stress, smoking, and excessive drinking habits cause blood vessels to constrict, and as they are risk factors that cause confusion in the autonomic nervous system, it is necessary to change the habits to appropriately improve them.
3. Eat foods that are beneficial to your eyes
In order to prevent and manage retinal artery occlusion, it is very important to consume foods rich in nutrients that help improve eye health, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. Green vegetables such as kale, spinach and asparagus, berry fruits, carrots, seaweed, and blue-green fish are among the foods rich in various nutrients mentioned above, so it is recommended to consume them regularly.
On the other hand, excessive intake of oily foods high in saturated fatty acids, processed foods, foods high in fat, and foods containing excessive salt can adversely affect vascular health and cause retinal artery occlusion. It is said to be a good way to improve your eating habits.