A series of blood abnormalities that result in the breakdown and misformation of red blood cells, is sickle cell disease. Sickle cell retinpathy occurs when the sickle shaped red blood cells obstructs the blood arteries in the choroid, a thin layer of tissue that is a portion of the middle layer of the wall of the eye, and retina, a layer of tissue that senses light and delivers images to the brain.
Sickle retinopathy SR can occur in anybody with sickle cell disease, but those with sickle-hemoglobin C disease (SC) and sickle beta plus (Sβ+) thalassemia is more likely to develop it. Children with SC and Sβ+ thalassemia disease has 30 percent chance of developing sickle retinopathy.
Patients with sickle cell disease who have retinal damage frequently do not have any eye symptoms. Patients mention blind spots, sudden onset of floaters or blurred vision, flashes of light, and loss of side vision or curtains when symptoms are present.
The retina can thin out and aberrant blood vessel growth can take place when these vessels are obstructed. Vision gets worse over time.
Red blood cell exchange transfusions, which lower abnormal beta-globin, stem cell therapy from matched sibling donors, and hydroxyurea, a medication that raises levels of a different type of hemoglobin that can carry oxygen and reduces sickling and blood vessel blockage, are all treatments for sickle cell disease
Smaller patches of aberrant blood vessel growth in sickle cell retinopathy should be observed because they typically go away on their own without medical intervention. In some patients, drugs that stop the growth of new blood vessels can be injected into the eye. Surgery is indicated for vitreous haemorrhage and retinal detachment. Large areas of ischemia (blood vessel blockage) can be treated with lasers to prevent the release of factors that promote abnormal blood vessels.
At The Eye Center- Dr. Mahnaz Naveed Shah & Associates our team of eight ophthalmology subspecialists/ eye specialists, eye surgeons who are considered amongst the very best eye specialists in Karachi and in Pakistan, have the diagnostic and treatment capabilities to treat from the simplest to the most complex patients. We work hard to provide our patients with the best possible medical and surgical eye care, in a state of the art purpose built eye care facility. We offer the entire array of medical, laser and surgical treatments to help provide patients the best possible care in the most efficient, safe and ethical manner.
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