• Friday 5 January 2018

    All about Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO)

    Veins and arteries regulate blood flow throughout the body including eyes. Retina has a primary artery and a single vein which, when blocked is known as Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) in medical terminology.

    When the vein clots, blood and eye fluid appears on the retina resulting in inflammation of the macula thus affecting central vision. Without proper circulation of blood, nerve cells in the eye are deceased and you can lose your vision every day.


    In the medical literature, much confusion exists between central retinal vein occlusions (CRVO) and branch retinal vein occlusions (BRVO) because both of these are grouped and studied together. Complication rate and natural occurrence of each entity may differ, so as the prescribed treatment and the obtained results. Here we’ll exclusively discuss BRVOs whereas Hemi-retinal vein occlusion is probably variant of the central retinal vein occlusion hence isn’t included in the details.


    Partially blurred or complete vision loss in one eye is a common symptom of BRVO that happens either suddenly or worsen within several hours or days. In severe cases, a patient may completely loose his vision.

    Floaters may appear which are dark spots, squiggles or lines in the vision. These shadows are due to tiny clumps of blood leaking from the retinal vessels into the vitreous. It must be noted that BRVO is experienced mostly in a single eye.

    Risk factors

    BRVO happens in individuals in their 50s or older. Greater risk exists among those having these health anomalies;
    • High blood pressure
    • Glaucoma
    • Diabetes
    • Arteriosclerosis which is hardening of the arteries
    • You can reduce the BRVO risk by;
    • Eating low-carb diet
    • Exercising regularly
    • Maintaining an ideal weight
    • Quit smoking
    Diagnosis & treatment

    Ophthalmologist would dilate the pupils with eye drops for close examination of the retina followed by a test called fluorescein angiography. Yellow dye (fluorescein) is injected into the vein which travels through the blood vessels to diagnose blockage if any. Additional tests may include blood sugar and cholesterol level whereas individuals under the age of 40 with BRVO may be tested for issues such as clotting or thickening of the blood.

    Primary goal of BRVO treatment is keeping the vision stable which is usually achieved by sealing off the leaked blood vessels in the retina. It also helps in preventing inflammation of the macula. Ophthalmologist may perform laser eye surgery in Abu Dhabi for treatment of BRVO named as focal laser treatment. The beam introduces tiny burns in area around the macula which stops the fluid from leaking in the vessels.

    Medication vaccination in the eye is another treatment option your ophthalmologist may choose. The dose helps in reducing macular swelling whereas the medicines injected are called “anti-VEGF” that significantly improves the vision. This particular course of treatment may continue for a year or two till optimistic results are being achieved! Vision improvement may be noticed in a few months following the treatment.


    Any vision-related anomaly requires immediate check-up so as to prevent the case from worsening especially if it’s Branch Retinal Vein Occlusions (BRVO).

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