Encyclopedia Home / R / Retinal artery occlusion

Retinal artery occlusion

  • Alternative Names

    Central retinal artery occlusion; Branch retinal artery occlusion; CRAO; BRAO


    There is no proven treatment for vision loss that involves the whole eye, unless it is caused by another illness that can be treated.

    Several treatments may be tried. These treatments must be given within 2 - 4 hours after symptoms begin to be helpful. However, the benefit of these treatments has never been proven, and they are rarely used.

    • Breathing in (inhaling) a carbon dioxide-oxygen mixture. This treatment causes the arteries of the retina to widen (dilate).
    • Massage of the eye
    • The clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)

    The health care provider should look for the cause of the blockage. Blockages may be signs of a life-threatening medical problem.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    People with blockages of the retinal artery may not get their vision back.

    • Glaucoma (CRAO only)
    • Partial or complete loss of vision in the affected eye
    • Stroke (due to the same factors that contribute to retinal artery occlusion, not due to the occlusion itself)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have sudden blurring or vision loss.