Retinal artery occlusion is the medical term for an eye stroke. Like all of the organs in the body, the eyes need a good supply of blood to do their job. An eye stroke occurs when the blood flow to the retina is cut off. If your aging relative has suffered an eye stroke, you may be uncertain just what that means or how they are affected. Learning more can help you to better care for them.
How an Eye Stroke Occurs
An eye stroke is a lot like a stroke that affects the brain. Like a cerebral stroke, it occurs when the supply of blood is blocked. In an eye stroke, a blood vessel that supplies blood to the retina becomes blocked by a clot or otherwise narrowed. When this happens, blood or fluid can seep into the retina, causing vision problems.
You may have heard your older family member’s doctor refer to the eye stroke using different terms. That’s because there are different kinds of eye stroke depending on which blood vessel is affected. Types of eye strokes include:
- Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO): The main vein to the retina is blocked.
- Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO): The main retinal artery is blocked.
- Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO): The small veins feeding the retina are blocked.
- Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion (BRAO): The small arteries feeding the retina are blocked.
Eye Stroke Risk Factors
There are several things that can put an older adult at risk for having an eye stroke, including:
- High cholesterol.
- Having had a heart attack or stroke in the past.
- Chest pain.
- Coronary artery disease.
In addition to these risk factors, simply being over the age of 60 increases a person’s risk for eye stroke. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, men over the age of 60 have the highest chances of suffering an eye stroke.
Symptoms of an Eye Stroke
The primary symptom of an eye stroke is a sudden change in vision. There usually isn’t any pain and the change typically occurs in just one eye. Some symptoms of an eye stroke are:
- Partial or total vision loss.
- Inability to see out of the side of the eye.
- Vision that is blurry or distorted.
- Blind spots.
Sometimes vision returns to normal. However, some people suffer permanent vision loss. If your older family member has vision loss due to an eye stroke, home care can help them with tasks that they may be unable to do, such as reading. A home care provider can read the senior’s mail to them and help them to respond appropriately, such as by paying a bill. Home care providers can also drive the senior to places they need to go, such as grocery shopping, to the pharmacy, and to medical appointments.
If you or an aging loved one needs Home Care in Davis, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.