My eye stroke happened when a gray foggy cloud entered my vision. I knew that I needed to call my Ophthalmologist immediately. He dilated and examined my eyes. At that point, he sent me directly to the emergency room of the hospital and they confirmed that I had a stroke of the eye. The scary part was determining if there were more clots and if the reason was life threatening or not. When someone younger than 60 years old has an eye stroke, it is because their body is throwing clots, landing in the vein going to the optic nerve. Thus, began my journey to determine why this was happening to my eye.
After many doctors and tests it was determined that I had an isolated clot cause by inflammation of the vein going to the optic nerve, narrowing and heating the area causing a blood clot blockage of blood flow to the optic nerve called Retinal Artery Occlusion.
- Grey fog in the vision field
- Loss of peripheral and/or central vision
- Occurs in one eye but eventually can go to both eyes.
- Angiogram using IV contrast dye
- CT and MRI scans to determine if clot or tumor involved
- Blood tests to evaluate other possible health causes
- The tests determine what type of stroke. In my case, the immediate concern was the possibility of a systemic stroke caused by repeated blood clots in other parts of my body, which tests ruled out. There was a team of doctors working to determine and rule out all other possible causes.
- Glaucoma medications prescribed to try to alleviate any pressure in hope of dislodging or dissolving the clot.
- Steroids in pill form are given and sometimes in conjunction with injections in the affected eye.
- There is no cure and an eye stroke often will reoccur in the other eye.
After a year of tests, treatment with aspirin, steroids and glaucoma medications there has still not been a clear diagnosed reason for my particular eye problems. My Retina specialist and current Internist agree that it may be stems from a possible autoimmune disorder. My endocrinologist diagnosed me with Hashimotos Thyroid Disease that is autoimmune and genetic. No one is sure of what the initial cause of my eye stroke but I am under continued treatment and monitoring for further problems.
If anyone has immediate loss of vision in one or both eyes go immediately to your eye doctor or to the emergency room. The initial symptoms of an eye stroke can also be the same for a general stroke, which is life threatening and needs immediate attention.
Sources and for information on Eye Stroke: