Central retinal artery occlusion

EBM Guidelines
Oct 3, 2018 • Latest change Mar 11, 2019
Paula Summanen and Sari Atula

Table of contents


  • Symptoms: sudden, painless unilateral vision loss
  • First aid must be started as quickly as possible: firm pressure to the eye with the edge of a fisted hand for about 10 seconds followed by a sudden release and a pause of 10 seconds (may also be instructed to the patient over the telephone; make sure the patient has not recently undergone eye surgery or sustained an eye injury). Ocular massage may be continued (for at least 15 minutes) until other treatment is initiated.
  • At the first aid centre, aspirin 250 mg may be given.
  • The patient must be sent immediately to an ophthalmic emergency department. Irreversible retinal damage starts to occur 1½ hours after the occlusion.
  • Aetiological investigations are started as soon as possible after the detection of the occlusion, as is done with all other disturbances of the cerebral circulation as well.

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Amaurosis Fugax, Aspirin, BRAO, CRAO, Embolism, First Aid, Fundus Oculi, H34.1, Intraocular Pressure, Ophthalmology, Thrombosis, Vision Disorders, Vision loss, central retinal artery occlusion, loss of vision, retinal artery occlusion