central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO)

This is a blockage of the all-important central retinal artery that supplies blood to the inner eye. This blockage usually occurs from embolic sources, such as a cholesterol plaque from the carotid artery or a blood clot from an irregular beating heart.  Unfortunately, the retina has no backup blood supply, so when the central retinal artery is clogged, retinal damage occurs rapidly.  Symptoms are usually described as a “blacking out” of the vision or seeing a “curtain coming down” associated with severe vision loss.  This vision loss is usually permanent and treatment is usually focused on finding the cause to avoid future embolic problems that might cause more eye problems … or even a stroke.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

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