The central artery of the retina provides the nervous fibers of the retina with blood. It is a small blood vessel that enters in the back of the eye with a visual nerve. Sometimes – in middle-aged and older people – this artery or one of its branches is clogged with a blood clot, which is a consequence of thrombosis, or embolus that has come from the diseased blood vessel (from the other part of the body); this clogging is also known as central retinal artery occulsion.
If the main artery is blocked, the blindness of the affected eye immediately follows. However, if only the branch of the artery is blocked, only a part of the vision disappears (usually in the upper or lower half).
What to do?
If you suddenly experience a vision loss, you should contact a doctor immediately or go to hospital, as it is sometimes possible to restore at least part of the vision if the treatment begins within the first few hours after the symptoms appear. This is done by an emergency surgical procedure or medication that allows the passage of the clot or embolus to a site where the minor part of the retina is endangered by clogging.
Whatever happens to the eye, the doctor will begin to look for the cause of the clogging to heal it and prevent the possibility of clogging in the other eye. For this purpose, you will need to take electrocardiogram (EKG), an arteriogram and perform other examinations.