Most people know that high blood pressure and other vascular diseases pose risks to overall health, but many may not know that high blood pressure can affect vision by damaging the arteries in the eye.
A stroke affecting the eye, also known as a retinal artery occlusion, is a blockage in the blood vessels in your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. The blockage is caused by a clot or occlusion (the narrowing or closure) in a blood vessel, or a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessel.
There are several types of strokes involving the eye, depending on whether they affect the veins in your eye or the arteries. Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood toward your heart. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart.
- Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) is a blockage in the small veins in your retina.
- Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) blocks the small arteries in your retina.
- Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is a blockage of the main vein in your retina.
- Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage in the central artery in your retina.