People who smoke, have diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma and/or atherosclerosis (hardened arteries) are at increased risk for developing CRVO. The exact cause of CRVO is still unknown, but you can help prevent CRVO by eating a healthy diet, not smoking and exercising regularly.
CRVO happens when a clot forms in the central retinal vein or when there is reduced blood flow in central retinal vein and it cannot properly drain the retina. There are quite a few diseases that can put people at an increased risk for blood clots. Although some doctors advise that you get tested for these diseases if you develop CRVO, we still don’t know exactly how these diseases are related to CRVO. However, CRVO may be a clue to pre-existing condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. CRVO in both eyes at the same time or in people under 40, may be a sign that you have a disease involving a blood clotting disorder, and referral to a blood specialist may be necessary. Only an eye specialist will be able to distinguish your unique needs.
In general, younger people who develop CRVO have a better outcome than older people. In patients who do not seek treatment, CRVO may get better on its own, cause symptoms to remain the same, or symptoms may worsen.