Received this email today from Trudie Lombard Hentze (BHS '65). We will keep keep Carol in our prayers...
Can you please post the email I received below from Chris Collins Cross (BHS 65) regarding her sister, Carole Collins (BHS 63)?
Sometime during the night of June 20th Carole Collins had a stroke in her eye. This is called “central retinal vein occlusion” or nickname “RVO”.
RVO is a disease of the retina that affects approximately 180,000 people each year in the US. Veins in the eye, known as retinal veins are an important part of the eye’s normal circulation. They move blood out of the eye toward the heart. A retinal vein occlusion is the blockage of one of these veins in the central or main retinal vein at the back of the eye. This tissue at the back of the inner eye converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain.
RVO can lead to swelling of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision and fine detail. This swelling can cause blurry or distorted vision in the affected eye. In some cases, RVO can lead to permanent vision loss.
The symptoms of RVO are blurry and or distorted vision. Some people with RVO may not notice any symptoms. Carole has both of these.
The risk factors…..people who are over 50 years old, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, glaucoma, smoking and obesity. Carole has several of these. RVO is most often caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and the formation of a blood clot.
Blockage of retinal veins may cause other eye problems, including: Glaucoma and macular edema.
Carole’s eye will be closely monitored for any more blockages for several months. A tear in the vein has been discovered and she on a medicine named “Lucentis” which is to stop the blood leaking. It is not usual to have an RVO in both eyes.
Many people will regain vision, even without treatment. However, vision rarely returns to normal. There is no way to reverse or open the blockage.
Treatment: Injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs into the eye. Carole has started this. These drugs may block the growth of new blood vessels that can cause glaucoma. Laser treatment to prevent the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels that lead to glaucoma is also a treatment.
Prognosis: The outcome varies. Patients with retinal vein occlusion often regain useful vision. Retinal vein occlusion is a sign of a general blood vessel disease. The same measures used to prevent strokes in the heart, and other coronary artery disease, may decrease the risk of further retinal vein occlusion. Aspirin or other blood thinners may help prevent blockages in the other eye.
Carole really likes her eye Dr. She is taking drugs. Things seem to be a little better. Put her on your prayer list.