Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

Updated on: August 18, 2014

Branch retinal vein occlusion is a condition whereby one of the vein branches gets blocked in the eye. The cause of the condition is a localized blood clot in a branch retinal vein due to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in an adjacent branch retinal vessel. The blockage results in obstruction of the venous drainage from the eye. The condition usually affects one eye and causes painless loss of vision. Once a block has occurred in a branch vein, there is always a risk of more bleeding in the eye. The disorder is usually seen in the 5th-7th decade of life.

The condition may present with:

- Decreased vision

- Loss of peripheral lesions

- Distorted vision

- Blind spots

- Complete vision loss

Risk factors for BRVO are;

- High blood pressure

- Diabetes mellitus

- Stroke

- Smokers

- History of glaucoma

- Heart disease

- Peripheral vascular disease

Almost 10% of patients with branch retinal vein occlusion develop a central retinal vein occlusion or branch retinal vein occlusion in the other eye.

The diagnosis is usually made by an eye doctor using special X ray studies.

Once the diagnosis is made, you will be frequently seen by the eye doctor to ensure that no other complications are developing in the eye. Your vision will be assessed also. Complications of BRVO can be treated with laser


There is no cure for BRVO.

Some individuals can be observed and in others laser may be used.

The most important thing to note is that if you have loss of vision in the eye, a visit to an eye doctor is extremely important.

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