Can You Have a Stroke in Your Eye: Signs, Diagnosis, and Natural Treatment for Eye Stroke

Eye stroke happens when the eye loses its blood supply. The medical term for eye stroke is retinal occlusion. Blood vessels serve to carry oxygen and important nutrients to every part of the body. When those vessels are narrowed or blocked by a blood clot or piece of fatty plaque, the blood supply is cut off, and it is called an eye stroke. Without the blood flow, cells in the eye start dying within minutes. So, a stroke in the eye is an emergency. Without immediate treatment, vision loss may become permanent.

Eye stroke is more common in middle-aged people and among the elderly population. It is estimated that about 12,000 people every year suffer an ocular stroke.

Read further, and you will become familiar with some stroke in eye symptoms, diagnosis, causes, and natural treatments, including acupuncture, Micro acupuncture 48, Chinese herbal therapy, and nutritional therapy.

Eye Stroke Recovery at Makari Wellness

As the leading acupuncture clinic in San Diego, we offer individualized and highly efficient therapies and herbal formulas to treat symptoms of eye stroke. Try some of the best alternative treatments to which nearly 85% of patients have responded positively.

Every treatment is tailored individually, depending upon the patient’s constitution, condition, and severity of the symptoms. Here at Makari Wellness, we strive to improve blood flow and nerve conductivity to the eye. We are here to help you to improve your overall quality of life by providing unique treatments. Do not hesitate to try our treatments, call Makari Wellness at (888) 871-8889.

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What is an Eye Stroke?

Eye stroke is a dangerous condition that occurs from a lack of sufficient blood flow to the eye. As a result, a lack of blood flow can affect your vision, so that you may experience permanent vision loss.

Types of Retinal Stroke

The blood vessels that enter the retina via the optic nerve are called the central blood vessels (arteries and veins). These vessels branch into smaller blood vessels called branch blood vessels. The eye stoke has several different types depending on which type of blood vessel is blocked:

  • Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), when the central retinal vein is blocked;
  • Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), when the central retinal artery is blocked;
  • Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), when the branch retinal vein is blocked;
  • Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), when the branch retinal artery is blocked.

Another type of eye stroke is caused by arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), which is associated with giant cell arteritis. It is an optic nerve stroke that involves the inflammation of the arteries supplying blood to the optic nerve. Non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is not associated with inflammation but rather with circulatory insufficiency.

What Causes a Stroke in the Eye?

Eye stroke causes are usually from a blood clot that may form in the retina or can travel from another part of the body. Apart from clots, a piece of fatty plague can plug blood vessels. Suppose you have any condition that affects the blood vessels like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes. In that case, you are at a higher risk of having a retinal stroke.

Some other risk factors for eye stroke include:

  • Eye trauma,
  • Smoking,
  • Damage from radiation treatments,
  • Carotid artery disease,
  • Kidney disease,
  • Birth control pills,
  • Clotting disorders such as sickle cell disease,
  • Vasculitis, a blood vessel wall inflammation,
  • Crowded optic disc (‘disc at risk’).

Eye Stroke Symptoms

The main symptom of stroke in your eye is a painless and sudden change in sight. It usually happens only in one eye. You may notice:

  • Blurry or distorted vision that gets progressively worse;
  • Floaters, a small grey spots floating around in the field of vision;
  • Pressure or discomfort in the eye;
  • Complete vision loss that happens gradually or suddenly.

Eye Stroke Diagnosis

The doctor may ask you about your medical history during your eye check. They may ask you to read an eye chart and will dilate your pupils using an ophthalmoscope to check your retina for any blockages or bleeding. Other tests may include:

  • Visual field test – you look into the machine and click a button each time you see the light. It checks your peripheral vision.
  • Visual acuity test – as mentioned, you may be asked to read a Snellen eye chart to determine how well you see at a distance.
  • Tonometry – it is a test that measures eye pressure and can detect the presence of glaucoma, which can cause an eye stroke.
  • Slit-lamp exam – using a microscope with bright light, a doctor will have a closer look at the different structures inside your eye.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – using an array of light to scan the eye rapidly, a doctor has an image of the tissue layers within the retina.
  • Fluorescein angiography (FA) – a doctor will record the blood flow in the retina using a special camera. These pictures help your ophthalmologist get a better look at the blood vessels and other structures in the back of your eye.

Eye Stroke Treatment

In case of an eye stroke, it is essential to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait too long because permanent damage can occur in just a few minutes. In order to effectively protect your vision, the treatment must be given within a few hours following the onset of symptoms. Some possible treatments include:

  • Eye massage – massaging the closed eyelid with a finger, the doctor may dislodge the clot.
  • Paracentesis – a doctor will use a small needle to remove a few drops of eye fluid to reduce pressure in your eye.
  • Medications – corticosteroid and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs are injected directly into the eye. Corticosteroids will reduce the leakiness of the vessels and improve swelling and circulation. Anti-VEGF drugs will prevent the development of new blood vessels in the eye.
  • Carbon dioxideoxygen mix – breathing the mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide widens the arteries in the eye and increases blood flow to the retina.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy – using a pressurized chamber to deliver high oxygen levels to the bloodstream will preserve your retina’s energy supply and speed up your recovery.

Most people will experience some degree of vision loss. Still, some serious complications may arise from an eye stoke and include:

  • Macular edema,
  • Neovascularization,
  • Neovascular glaucoma,
  • Retinal detachment,
  • Blindness.

Eye Stroke Natural Treatment

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the belief that the body’s vital energy (Chee or Qi) circulates through channels called meridians that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions. Concepts of the body and disease used in TCM emphasize dynamic processes over material structure.

Its philosophy is based on Yinyangism – Yin and Yang being two abstract and complementary opposites that every phenomenon in the universe can be divided into. The TCM includes various forms of acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, massage, and dietary therapy.


Acupuncture for Eye Stroke

Acupuncture is one of the main TCM therapies. It is a procedure of inserting sterile, thin needles into the specific points along meridians, called acupuncture points. The needles will restore the balance of Qi and can boost overall visual acuity, reduce or eliminate eye floaters, blurred vision, and many other symptoms.

According to TCM, the eyes are connected with the internal organs, mostly the liver and kidneys. The eyes are said to be the reflection of the overall health. Some of the main acupoints are around the eyes are beneficial for eye health and include:

  • Tongziliao or Pupil Crevice is located in a foramen lateral to the outer canthus. It is on a level with the pupil. It is suitable for poor vision and the cloudiness of the cornea.
  • Quihou or Behind the Ball is located at the junction of the lateral 1/4th and the medial 3/4th of the infraorbital margin. It is used for all types of eye problems, including retinal occlusion.
  • Jingming or Bright Eyes is an acupoint located in the inner corner of the eye, and it is a primary point to bring Qi and blood to the eyes.
  • Yuyao or Fish’s Lumbus is located directly above the pupil, in the hollow at the midpoint of the eyebrow, used for the swelling of the eye.

Micro Acupuncture 48 is a relatively new acupuncture system involving 48 acupuncture points located only on hands and feet. It had a great deal of positive and measurable clinical results. The best results are achieved in eye diseases and pain.

Chinese Herbal Therapy for Eye Stroke

Herbal supplements are a popular choice for people who prefer natural remedies for retinal occlusion. You can take them in the form of dried herbs, teas, powders, capsules, and liquid extracts. These herbal formulas are mixtures that are prescribed based on the individual TCM diagnosis. Some of them are:

  • Indian Ginseng or Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that can prevent or treat eye stroke.
  • Garlic can prevent blood clotting and destroy plaque.
  • Red peony root promotes blood circulation in the eyes.
  • Bilberry may improve cholesterol levels and lower blood sugar.
  • Turmeric as a spice may lower cholesterol levels and help prevent blockages in arteries.
  • Goji berries are excellent for blurred vision.

Nutritional Supplements for Eye Stroke

Some supplements may help reduce risk and improve eye stroke recovery. These are:

  • B vitamins could help lower homocysteine levels, an amino acid linked with an increased risk of stroke.
  • Vitamin C may aid in repairing blood vessel damage and reducing plaque buildup in the arteries.
  • Vitamin D may lower the risk of artery-blocking strokes, especially in people with high blood pressure.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid as a type of omega-3 fatty acid may prevent cell damage.
  • Selenium and Zink work together to keep your intraocular pressure low.

Prevention of Eye Stroke

There are some things you can do to prevent eye stroke:

  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals,
  • Exercise regularly,
  • Maintain a healthy weight,
  • Reduce tension and stress,
  • Avoid or quit smoking,
  • Keep other health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure under control.