Central Retina Arterial Occlusion (CRAO)

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Central retina arterial occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage from a blood clot or fat deposit occurring in one of the small arteries which carry blood to the retina, the layer of tissue in the back of the eye that senses light.  CRAO affects the entire eye where the blockage occurs causing sudden blurring or loss of vision due to the lack of oxygen.

To date, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the only treatment option for CRAO with favorable results if treated preferably within eight hours – no more than 24 hours – to achieve optimal outcomes.  Some visual acuity (light/dark) may be recovered for up to two weeks.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the chance of reversing the loss of vision IF retinal tissue isn’t irreparably damaged with cell death and necrosis in the inner layers of the retinal artery, and to supply oxygen to the retinal tissue to maintain its life while blood flow is restored (either medically assisted or spontaneous).

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