Friday, 17 September 2021
Retina Conditions Explained: CRAO

What is a CRAO?

When one of the vessels that carries blood to your eye’s retina gets blocked, it can cause you to lose your eyesight. This problem often happens suddenly and without any pain. This is called a Central Retinal Artery Occlusion (CRAO).

Your retina is the layer of nerve tissue at the back of your inner eye that senses light. Like a tiny video camera, your retina turns images into electrical signals. Your optic nerve carries these signals to your brain. If a blockage of a blood vessel happens in your retina, it can be very serious. The blockage usually comes from a blood clot or cholesterol deposit in your blood vessel.  


The signs of CRAO are easy to spot.

  • Sudden blindness in one of your eyes 
  • Sudden, complete blurring of eyesight in one eye 
  • Steady loss of eyesight in one eye over a few weeks 

The symptoms may last a few seconds or minutes. 


Like other vascular blockages, CRAO is a serious condition, and you should seek prompt medical attention. If a blood clot breaks free and moves to the brain, it could cause a stroke.


For even more information about CRAO, visit our learning center at


Written by Tennessee Retina team member


Posted on 09/17/2021 12:08 PM by Hannah Bracey
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