Retinal haemorrhage

Retinal haemorrhage is a disorder of the eye in which bleeding occurs in the retina, the light sensitive tissue, located on the back wall of the eye.[1] There are photoreceptor cells in the retina called rods and cones, which transduce light energy into nerve signals that can be processed by the brain to form visual images.[2] Retinal hemorrhage can affect adults, and newborn babies and infants may also suffer from this disorder.

Retinal hemorrhage

A retinal hemorrhage can be caused by several medical conditions such as hypertension, retinal vein occlusion (a blockage of a retinal vein), anemia, leukemia or diabetes.

Signs and symptoms

At the early stage, a retinal hemorrhage may not show any symptom at all.

Some symptoms may include:

  • Seeing floaters in the vision
  • Seeing cobwebs in the vision
  • Seeing haze or shadows
  • Distorted vision
  • Rapid flashes of light in peripheral vision
  • Red tint to vision
  • Blurryness
  • Sudden blindness

Other symptoms may include head aches, pain at the temple.


Retinal hemorrhages commonly occur in high altitude climbers, most likely due to the effects of systemic hypoxia on the eye. Risk is correlated with the maximum altitude reached, duration of exposure to high altitude conditions, and climb rate.[3]

Retinal hemorrhages are significantly associated with abusive head traumas (AHT). The mechanism of the trauma is believed to be repeated acceleration and deceleration with or without blunt impact (shaken baby syndrome).[4] Around 85% of victims suffer from AHT will have retinal hemorrhages and it increases in severity with increasing likelihood of abuse.[5] However, none of these claims regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome are supported by any scientific evidence.[6]


A retinal hemorrhage is generally diagnosed by using an ophthalmoscope or fundus camera in order to examine the inside of the eye. A fluorescein angiography test may be conducted, in which a fluorescent dye is often injected into the patient's bloodstream beforehand so the administering ophthalmologist can have a more detailed view and examination on the blood vessels in the retina.[7] The fluorescent dye can have dangerous side effects: see Fluorescein

Eye examination may be done to check the eye(s) conditions, for instance to check how well the patient sees straight ahead, off to the sides and at different distances.

Blood tests may provide information about the patient's overall health and may also reveal the medical condition that may have caused retinal hemorrhage.[1]


It is recommended to consult with ophthalmologist as early as possible, particularly for people with vision problems, these includes floaters, flashes, cobwebs or spots in their vision. Preventive measures such as regular prenatal care and monitoring of infants with high risks of the disorder may be done to avoid further complications of retinal hemorrhages in infants. For retinal hemorrhages associated with hypertension, blood pressure can be controlled by having regular blood pressure check ups, frequent exercise, monitor daily food intakes and to practice a stress-free lifestyle.[7]


Retinal hemorrhages, especially mild ones not associated with chronic disease, will normally reabsorb without treatment. Laser surgery is a treatment option which uses a laser beam to seal off damaged blood vessels in the retina.[8] Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs like Avastin and Lucentis have also been shown to repair retinal hemorrhaging in diabetic patients and patients with hemorrhages associated with new vessel growth.[9][10]

Alternative treatments may include providing necessary nutrients to strengthen and heal damaged blood vessels, through the consumption of dietary supplements such as Vitamins A, B, C and E. Also, the essential fatty acids including omega-3 from fish oil and flaxseed oil.[11]

See also


  1. "Retinal Hemorrhage - What You Need to Know". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. Yarfitz S, Hurley JB (May 1994). "Transduction mechanisms of vertebrate and invertebrate photoreceptors". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 269 (20): 14329–32. PMID 8182033.
  3. Bosch MM, Barthelmes D, Landau K (December 2012). "High altitude retinal hemorrhages--an update" (PDF). High Altitude Medicine & Biology. 13 (4): 240–4. doi:10.1089/ham.2012.1077. PMID 23270439.
  4. Levin AV (2011). "Eye Injuries in Child Abuse". Child Abuse and Neglect. pp. 402–412. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4160-6393-3.00044-0. ISBN 978-1-4160-6393-3.
  5. Binenbaum G, Mirza-George N, Christian CW, Forbes BJ (June 2009). "Odds of abuse associated with retinal hemorrhages in children suspected of child abuse". Journal of AAPOS. 13 (3): 268–72. doi:10.1016/j.jaapos.2009.03.005. PMC 2712730. PMID 19541267.
  6. Lynoe et al. 2017
  7. "Retinal Hemorrhage". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  8. Sparks KO. "Retinal Bleeding".
  9. Spaide RF, Fisher YL (March 2006). "Intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy complicated by vitreous hemorrhage". Retina. 26 (3): 275–8. doi:10.1097/00006982-200603000-00004. PMID 16508426.
  10. "Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment". WebMD.
  11. Pilyugina S. "Retinal Physician - Ocular Dietary Supplementation Food For Thought". Retinal Physician. Retrieved 2018-09-13.

Further reading

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.