Your eyes play an important part in enjoying a long, healthy, and happy life. That’s why it’s important to know that it is possible to have a stroke in your eye, as well as recognize the warning signs that this might be happening to you or if you’re at risk of having one.

An eye stroke happens when one of the veins or arteries in your retina becomes clotted or otherwise blocked. Blood is vital for preserving a healthy retina; that’s why, when blood flow is reduced or otherwise blocked by a clot, the retina quickly becomes damaged. When left untreated, an eye stroke has the potential to cause permanent vision loss.

In order to prevent an eye stroke, you’ll need to recognize the at-risk signs. If you have any of the following health conditions in your medical history (or your family’s), you could be at risk for an eye stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Previous strokes or heart attacks

Studies have also shown that the most at-risk group for experiencing an eye stroke is men in their 60s.

Symptoms of an eye stroke include:

  • Sudden vision loss
  • The appearance of “floaters” in one’s field of vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Vision changes that become worse within the course of a few days

If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, it’s important to schedule an emergency appointment with your ophthalmologist right away. Your ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat the eye stroke. In many cases, an eye stroke may be a preliminary warning to a larger stroke; that means early detection could help save your life.

Want to learn more about your risk for an eye stroke? Schedule an eye exam with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today.