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A stroke can affect different areas of your body depending on where the blood clot occurs. You can even have a stroke in one of your eyes. Eye strokes can cause blindness if not treated immediately. Here's a look at what causes eye strokes and how you can help prevent them.
What Causes An Eye Stroke
A stroke is caused when a clot blocks off a blood vessel or a vessel narrows and stops blood flow to part of your eye. This might happen to your central retinal artery or to a peripheral artery. If it happens in the retinal artery, you might experience sudden and total loss of vision while a clot in a peripheral artery might only affect your peripheral or central vision. The same thing that causes strokes in your brain and heart attacks causes eye strokes. High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease increase the risk of having an eye stroke and sudden blindness. In addition, your risk may be increased when you have eye damage from diabetes or increased eye pressure from glaucoma.
What Symptoms You May Experience
You might have symptoms leading up to the stroke, but often the clot strikes suddenly. You may wake up with loss of vision in one eye or suddenly lose your sight without experiencing any pain. When you have regular eye exams, your doctor might notice changes in your eyes that signal you're at a high risk for an eye stroke. An ophthalmology professional can diagnose the condition through your medical history, symptoms, and by looking at the condition of the blood vessels in your eyes.
How To Prevent An Eye Stroke
Loss of vision from an eye stroke can be permanent unless treatment is received immediately. Even when treatment is started right away, it may not be possible to save the sight in your eye. Therefore, it's important to prevent an eye stroke from happening. This involves improving your cardiovascular health by controlling high blood pressure and working with your doctor to control atherosclerosis and diabetes. You may need to take medication, change your diet, and get more exercise. You'll also want to keep your ophthalmology appointments. When you have a condition such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or high blood pressure, your eye doctor will watch for changes in your eyes and provide early treatment when needed to help prevent a stroke and blindness when possible.
Strokes can happen at any age, but the risk tends to go up as you get older. Aging eyes are at risk of developing complications, so even if you've had perfect vision and good health throughout your life, it's always good to have regular eye exams as you age so you can protect your vision.Share
25 September 2019