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Arterial Thrombosis in the Eye

Occlusio arteriae centralis retinae (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

In the case of a thrombosis in the afferent artery of the eye, a passing or permanent closing of the blood vessel affecting the supply area is one of several of the ramifications of the artery. Often, it is only one of the eyes that are affected. The thrombosis is caused by a dislodged blood clot that is lead with the bloodstream and wedges into the eye.

The risk of an arterial thrombosis in the eye increases with age and with the occurrence of arteriosclerosis, irregular heartbeat, bad heart valves, raised blood pressure and diabetes.

Since the central artery of the eye is an end artery, the eye is unable to receive its blood supply from other blood vessels. Therefore, a complete closing almost always leads to sudden and serious loss of eyesight. When it is the ramifications of the end artery that are closed, the loss of eyesight may be less extensive. If a smaller arterial blood clot in the eye is dissolved or passes by, a brief passing loss of eyesight occurs. You should under every circumstance be examined by an ophthalmologist to get an explanation for the cause of the blood clot.

Further reading on Frequent signs.

What can you do?

Seek a doctor immediately, if you experience sudden loss of eyesight.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

The doctor can acutely refer you to an ophthalmologist.

Contact the doctor immediately

The ophthalmologist can perform a thorough examination of the retina and by doing an examination with dye (fluorescein angiography) possibly determine the extent of the closing. There is no treatment for an arterial thrombosis in the eye but you should always seek out the explanation for the cause of the blood clot.