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Vascular Retinopathies - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

 

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Vascular Retinopathies

Vascular Retinopathy, or damage to the retina, has various causes. A hardening or thickening of the retinal arteries is called arteriosclerotic retinopathy. The arteries and veins can become blocked, thus resulting in a retinal artery or vein occlusion. The spreading of a syphilis infection to the retinal blood vessels cases syphilitic retinopathy, and diabetes damages the retinal vessels resulting in a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Vascular retinopathies include the defects identified by bulging of the vessel walls, by bleeding into the eye, by small clumps of dead retinal cells called cotton wool exudates, and by closed vessels. Blood flow to the retina is disrupted, either by blockage or breakdown of the various vessels. There can be a lack of oxygen to surrounding tissues (hypoxia) or decreased blood flow ( ischemia ). Neovascularization can even grow on the colored part of the eye (iris). Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people ages 20 to 74. the United States, new cases of blindness are most often caused by diabetic retinopathy.