A healthy retina is essential for normal vision. Retinal vein occlusion (RVO), which is a blockage that prevents normal blood flow out of the eye, may damage the retina and lead to impaired vision or loss of vision.

How healthy
eyes work
What is RVO?
Symptoms of RVO
Effects of RVO

How the eye works

Light enters through the cornea, passes through the opening in the iris, called the pupil, and then to the lens, which focuses light on the retina—the inner lining of the back of the eye.

The retina’s role
The retina is lined with light-sensitive cells, or photoreceptors, called rods and cones. The macula is the center of the retina, and it is responsible for sharp central vision. The fovea is a small depression in the macula that provides the sharpest vision of all.

When light reaches the retina, the photoreceptors send impulses along the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as vision.



Retinal vein occlusion (RVO)

Blood circulating through the retina leaves the eye by draining into the retinal vein. A retinal vein occlusion is a blockage that prevents normal blood flow out of the eye. The blockage may be caused by a blood clot, by squeezing (compression) from a nearby retinal artery, or by diseases that affect the blood vessels, such as diabetes, high eye pressure (glaucoma), high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Retinal vein occlusions are more common once people reach middle age.

Blood vessels in the retina

There are 2 main types of RVO

Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO)
In BRVO, the blockage occurs in one of the smaller branch vessels that connect to the central retinal vein

Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)
In CRVO, the blockage occurs in the central retinal vein, which is the main drainage line for blood leaving the retina.

Image provided by Phototake. Barbara Galati –
Ophthalmologist/Photographer.

Image provided by Phototake. Barbara Galati –
Ophthalmologist/Photographer.

These pictures show bleeding that may happen in the retina when a retinal vein becomes blocked.

Symptoms of RVO

Sudden blurring or vision loss in all or part of one eye are the most common symptoms of retinal vein occlusion. For some patients, the vision loss may happen gradually over days or weeks instead of suddenly. The amount of blurring or vision loss depends on how much damage to the retina has occurred.

Blurry vision

These images are depictions only. Actual visual symptoms vary for individuals.

Floaters

These images are depictions only. Actual visual symptoms vary for individuals.

Wavy vision

These images are depictions only. Actual visual symptoms vary for individuals.

Central dark spot

These images are depictions only. Actual visual symptoms vary for individuals.

Swelling of the macula and other effects of RVO

The effects of a branch retinal vein occlusion are often limited to the part of the retina where the branch is located, because the other branches and the central retinal vein still work to keep blood flowing in the rest of the retina. The effects of a central retinal vein occlusion are more widespread throughout the retina.

Retinal vein occlusion can take months to heal and lead to permanent vision impairment in the affected eye.

OZURDEX® (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) is an FDA-approved drug treatment for macular edema following branch or central retinal vein occlusion.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
OZURDEX® should not be used if you have any infections or diseases in the eye, or surrounding eye area, including most viral diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva, including active herpes viral infection of the eye, vaccinia, varicella, mycobacterial infections, and fungal diseases.

OZURDEX® should not be used if you have glaucoma. See more below

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
OZURDEX® should not be used if you have any infections or diseases in the eye, or surrounding eye area, including most viral diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva, including active herpes viral infection of the eye, vaccinia, varicella, mycobacterial infections, and fungal diseases.

OZURDEX® should not be used if you have glaucoma.

OZURDEX® should not be used if you have a posterior lens capsule that is torn or ruptured.

You should not use OZURDEX® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Injections into the vitreous in the eye, including those with OZURDEX®, are associated with serious eye infection (endophthalmitis), eye inflammation, increased eye pressure, and retinal detachments. Your eye doctor may monitor you regularly after the injection.

Use of corticosteroids including OZURDEX® may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, increased eye pressure, glaucoma, and may increase the establishment of secondary eye infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Let your doctor know if you have a history of ocular herpes simplex.
See more below

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
OZURDEX® should not be used if you have any infections or diseases in the eye, or surrounding eye area, including most viral diseases of the cornea and conjunctiva, including active herpes viral infection of the eye, vaccinia, varicella, mycobacterial infections, and fungal diseases.

OZURDEX® should not be used if you have glaucoma.

OZURDEX® should not be used if you have a posterior lens capsule that is torn or ruptured.

You should not use OZURDEX® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Injections into the vitreous in the eye, including those with OZURDEX®, are associated with serious eye infection (endophthalmitis), eye inflammation, increased eye pressure, and retinal detachments. Your eye doctor may monitor you regularly after the injection.

Use of corticosteroids including OZURDEX® may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, increased eye pressure, glaucoma, and may increase the establishment of secondary eye infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Let your doctor know if you have a history of ocular herpes simplex.

The most common side effects reported in patients for retinal vein occlusion and uveitis include: increased eye pressure, conjunctival blood spot, eye pain, eye redness, ocular hypertension, cataract, vitreous detachment, and headache.

The most common side effects reported in patients with diabetic macular edema include: cataract, increased eye pressure, conjunctival blood spot, reduced vision, inflammation of the conjunctiva, specks that float in the field of vision, swelling of the conjunctiva, dry eye, vitreous detachment, vitreous opacities, retinal aneurysm, foreign body sensation, corneal erosion, inflammation of the cornea, anterior chamber inflammation, retinal tear, drooping eyelid, high blood pressure and bronchitis. See more below

Approved Uses
OZURDEX® (dexamethasone intravitreal implant) is a prescription medicine that is an implant injected into the eye (vitreous) and used:
  • To treat adults with swelling of the macula (macular edema) following branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) or central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)
  • To treat adults with noninfectious inflammation of the uvea (uveitis) affecting the back segment of the eye
  • To treat adults with diabetic macular edema
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (continued)

The most common side effects reported in patients for retinal vein occlusion and uveitis include: increased eye pressure, conjunctival blood spot, eye pain, eye redness, ocular hypertension, cataract, vitreous detachment, and headache.

The most common side effects reported in patients with diabetic macular edema include: cataract, increased eye pressure, conjunctival blood spot, reduced vision, inflammation of the conjunctiva, specks that float in the field of vision, swelling of the conjunctiva, dry eye, vitreous detachment, vitreous opacities, retinal aneurysm, foreign body sensation, corneal erosion, inflammation of the cornea, anterior chamber inflammation, retinal tear, drooping eyelid, high blood pressure and bronchitis.

After repeated injections with OZURDEX®, a cataract may occur. If this occurs, your vision will decrease and you will need an operation to remove the cataract and restore your vision. You may develop increased eye pressure with OZURDEX® that will need to be managed with eye drops, and rarely, with surgery.

In the days following injection with OZURDEX®, you may be at risk for potential complications including in particular, but not limited to, the development of serious eye infection or increased eye pressure. If your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, painful, or develops a change in vision, you should seek immediate care from your eye doctor. You may experience temporary visual blurring after receiving an injection and should not drive or use machinery until your vision has resolved.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information.