A retinal arterial macroaneurysm is when blood pools around the retinal artery within your eye. Typically, a retinal arterial macroaneurysm is caused by chronic high blood pressure (hypertension).
Symptoms of a Retinal Arterial Macroaneurysm
Patients suffering from a retinal arterial macroaneurysm may not notice any immediately noticeable symptoms. Because of this, it is important to schedule regular eye exams in order to identify eye conditions or potential risks at their early stages.
If a retinal arterial macroaneurysm develops in the macular area of your retina (responsible for detailed vision), you may notice a slight decrease in your frontal visual field. This will occur suddenly and painlessly. If this retinal arterial macroaneurysm ruptures, cloudiness or vision loss will spread over a wider area across your visual field.
Typically, a retinal arterial macroaneurysm only forms in one eye, however, there are cases in which they form in both eyes.
Causes of a Retinal Arterial Macroaneurysm
Retinal arterial macroaneurysm are usually caused by chronic high blood pressure, especially among seniors.
Higher risk groups for developing a retinal arterial macroaneurysm:
- Over the age of 60 years old
- More frequent among women than men
- History of atherosclerosis
Diagnosing a Retinal Arterial Macroaneurysm
Your retinal specialist can detect retinal arterial macroaneurysms during a dilated retinal exam.
If the retinal arterial macroaneurysm has already ruptured, the area affected can be identified through fluorescein angiography diagnostic tests. This retinal condition runs the risk of bleeding into adjacent areas.
Treatment of a Retinal Arterial Macroaneurysm
Depending on the severity of the case and how early the condition is diagnosed, treatment of a retinal arterial macroaneurysm will vary.
At early stages, panretinal laser photocoagulation may be required to isolate the bleeding and prevent is from spreading into a wider area.
If the retinal arterial macroaneurysm has already ruptured and bleeding has spread, a vitrectomy may need to be performed in order to remove excess blood and restore vision.
Responsible management of high blood pressure is a crucial component of long-term treatment and recovery for patients diagnosed with a retinal arterial macroaneurysm.