Causes of Retinal Vein Occlusions
In medicine we often talk about “associations” rather than “causes”. The difference between association and cause can be subtle. Essentially as many medical conditions are complex problems with many different underlying links it makes more sense to consider the links between a condition such as RVO and other conditions.
For all Retinal vein Occlusion disorders the strongest common risk factors for its development are :
- Hypertension – raised blood pressure
- Hyperlipidaemia – Raised Cholesterol levels
- Diabetes – Raised blood glucose
- Smoking history
- Glaucoma or raised eye pressure (ocular hypertension)
More rarely other potential associations of RVO are:
- Blood clotting disorders -can take a variety of different forms
- Abnormalities of blood protein
- Conditions leading to increase in number of circulating red/white blood cells or platelets
- Under-active Thyroid gland
- Use of oral contraceptive pill
- Rare autoimmune conditions
For most people above the age of 50 – specific testing for the rarer associations listed above is not usually required.