The eye is at high risk for damage in sickle cell individuals due to the small vessels in the eye that are frequently blocked. The eye is able to respond to this lack of blood flow by making new vessels, but these new vessels are fragile and can bleed easily.
It is also a concern in individuals with sickle cell that blockage of blood flow to the center of the retina, which is the part of the eye responsible for vision, may cause blind spots.
- Treatment/Prevention: Annual eye evaluations with your eye doctor can help identify issues in the eye. There are a variety of special tests to check blood vessels and the eye itself. They may recommend medications or laser treatment intervention based on their findings.