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Old 03-16-2004, 05:58 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23
willow42 HB User
Retina hemorrhage...

Hi all...
I posted last month re: 2 d0t hemorrhages in my retina. The eye doc said they were commonly associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, or carotid artery disease & said I should see my regular doctor. I have since been to not only the regular doc, but a neurologist, cardiologist & retina specialist. I have had 8 vials of blood drawn & tested. I have had an MRI, MRA, carotid artery ultrasound, heart ultrasound, EKG, EEG...

The only thing that anyone can find wrong with me (besides the retina hemorrhage):
Cholesterol = 229 (LDL = 151)
Epstein-Barr VCA IGG AB = >7.00 (High positive-suggestive of past EBV)
Epstein-Barr NA AB (IGG) =>5.00 (same as above)
Carotid Ultrasound showed <40% blockage in each side visually, but a 60- 79% blockage with velocity (whatever that means)

My only other symptoms are dizziness (sometimes), muscle pain, headache & throat pressure...which I am now pretty sure are caused by being pushed, poked, probed, stabbed & stuffed into giant magnetic tubes.

I had a re-check with the regular eye dr. today & the hemorrhages are still there. (Another re-check in 6 mo. to see if they're gone).

Any ideas?!?!?

Last edited by willow42; 03-16-2004 at 06:00 PM.

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Old 03-17-2004, 09:07 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 612
Torre HB User
Re: Retina hemorrhage...

Hi Willow:

It appears you have your answer. A blocked carotid artery is one of the possible causes of a retinal hemorrhage and you have a blocked artery. It could also cause dizziness and headache.

The 40% blockage is how clogged or narrowed the artery looks. The 60% to 79% is a measure of the blockage based on the velocity of the blood being forced through the narrowed artery. Picture squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. If you narrow the opening of the tube and use the same amount of pressure, the paste will come out with a greater velocity.

From what I read, the greatest threat of an obstructed carotid artery is stroke, particularly mini-strokes.


Old 03-17-2004, 06:24 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23
willow42 HB User
Re: Retina hemorrhage...

Finally, someone I can understand!!! Thanks for your reply Torre!

Do you happen to know if a carotid artery ultrasound can be affected by human or mechanical error? Could still have a problem with the artery even if an EKG, MRA & heart ultrasound showed clear? I'm asking mainly because something odd showed up on my heart U/S, but the doc ruled it out to tech. error (the "wand" wasn't in the correct position & messed up the image), so I'm kinda hoping that's what happened with the neck U/S. Also, my RIGHT retina is the one with the hemorrhages, but it's my LEFT carotid that's showing as blocked. Odd, huh!?!

Last edited by willow42; 03-17-2004 at 06:28 PM.

Old 03-18-2004, 06:01 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 612
Torre HB User
Re: Retina hemorrhage...

Hi Willow:

I suppose a mistake is always possible. From what I read, it does seem odd that the blocked artery was on the opposite side.

I had a different test to determine how much blood was getting to the eyes. It's called a cerebral angiogram. Not terribly pleasant, but pretty accurate I guess.

Well, if you doubt the accuracy of the test, that kinda leaves you in limbo.

Here's some good news I found:

Atherosclerotic plaque does not always lead to stroke. There are many small blood vessels around the carotid arteries. If blood flow gradually decreases, these small connections will increase in size and "by-pass" the obstructed area (collateral circulation). If there is enough collateral circulation, even a totally blocked artery may not cause neurologic deficits. A second safety mechanism is that the arteries are large enough that 70% of the blood vessel can be occluded, and there will still be adequate blood flow to the brain.


Old 03-18-2004, 05:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23
willow42 HB User
Re: Retina hemorrhage...

Thanks for all of your help & knowledge. I'll sleep a little better tonight.

Old 03-28-2004, 02:15 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 836
californiasunflower HB User
Re: Retina hemorrhage...

Hey Willow, other than the retinal hemorrhage, how are you feeling generally? any other symptoms that you have been experiencing?

I have a retinal hemorrhage, vein occlusion and my optic nerve is swollen.
Have had it for almost a year now.

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