Retinal macroaneurysms are usually related to high blood pressure and can cause significant loss of vision.
A macroaneurysm is formed in a small retinal artery and is essentially a ballooning out of the blood vessel wall. As the macroaneurysm grows, the ballooned out wall of the arteriole stretches and becomes thinner. This can either lead to the macroaneurysm bursting, with bleeding that can be quite severe, or leakage of the macroaneurysm.
If bleeding occurs, the possibility of treatment depends on many factors such as how long its been present, which part of the retina is affected and the depth of the bleeding into the layers behind and in front of the macula; a vitreous haemorrhage can even result. Vitrectomy surgery is sometimes necessary if the bleeding does not settle on its own.
When there is leakage of fluid from the very thin-walled macroaneurysm, this can cause macular oedema, which is best treated with retinal laser. This can take a few months to take full effect before considering re-treatment.
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