What kind of retinal diseases are there?
Retinal vein occlusion: Veins return blood to the heart. When a vein in the retina is blocked either permanently or temporarily, blood continues to enter the eye from the higher pressure arterial system.
Since the outflow is blocked blood breaks through the thinner vessels and hemorrhages into the retina. Since waste products cannot be removed, and nutrients can’t enter there is often significant damage in the distribution of the blocked vein.
This leads to edema and growth of new blood vessels that can be harmful. Anti-VEGF medications and/or steroids can be injected into the eye to reduce these factors, improving vision.
Diabetic retinopathy: When diabetes is not controlled, high sugar levels damage blood vessels. This leads to leaks into the retina. Blood doesn’t get where it needs to go. When tissues don’t get the nutrients that they need, there is inflammation, edema, and they send out growth factors such as VEGF to grow new blood vessels.
This can lead to blindness, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. Anti-VEGF and/or steroids and/or laser are often used to limit progression and improve vision.