A stroke is caused when blood supply to the vessels like arteries is occluded and when such a blockage occurs in an optic nerve (a vessel that transmits visual messages to retina), it comes to be known as an eye stroke or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (AION).
Usually, patients undergoing this condition show only a few symptoms before it deteriorates the vision partially or completely. It may cause visual distortions and vital eye parts like retina are damaged beyond repair.
Different Forms Of Eye Strokes
This type of stroke is most common and is characterized by the loss of vision due to the obstructed blood supply to optic nerve. The disease is less common in young ones and generally affects adults over the age of 40. The results of such a blockage are potentially harmful for eye vision.
When the head of the optic nerve does not get sufficient amount of oxygen, it causes inflammation of the entire nerve. In most of the cases, the damage caused to eyes is irreversible and if left untreated can result in other eye loosing the vision too.
A type of AION (Non Arteric AION), this eye stroke is caused by the obstruction of blood supply to the white matter of the nerve and is characterized by the sudden loss of visual impairment or a complete loss. It manifests itself very quickly, usually, when a person awakes from his slumber. His sight may be interrupted by dark spots before eyes due to which his upper, lower or both the fields may be affected.
The condition persists mostly in mature adults and is asymptotic (no other symptoms are present). NAAION is attributed to factors like crowded optical disc (when the hole through which optic nerve axons enter the optical disc is not wide enough) and cardiovascular factors including diabetes and heavy cholesterol deposition.
It is another form of AION and is arteric type. Caused by the swelling of large as well as medium arteries of the brain, it results in the ocular loss due to the irreparable damage and subsequent death of the optic nerve. Many cases of temporal arteritis are known to have AAION.
Unlike NAAION, there are many symptoms present in this type of eye stroke. These include fatigue, pain in jaw muscles, and loss in both weight as well as appetite. Those who are detected with such a condition are administered corticosteroids for a long duration. If left untreated, they may loose the vision of the second eye as well.
Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion is a type of eye stroke that impairs the peripheral vision of the patient. It is caused when a blood embolus detaches itself from some blood vessels of heart and blocks the eye field. The embolus or the clot may also come from the carotid artery.
It may cause either partial or full loss of eyesight. If treatment begins as soon as a person starts experiencing the problem, the doctor may be able to administer medicines that dissolve the plaque.
Though most cases of eye stroke cause irreversible damage to eyes, timely treatment can save a lot.
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