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Signs of Sickle Cell in Your Eyes

key information

source: verywell health, About Inc.

year: 2020

authors: Troy Bedinghaus


Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder caused by an inherited genetic mutation. People with sickle cell develop crescent-shaped red blood cells when there is reduced oxygen levels. These sickled red blood cells become stiff and do not flow easily through small blood vessels. When the sickle cells block the flow of blood through the body, extreme pain occurs, due to blood-starved tissues. People with sickle cell have extreme anemia because of the abnormal hemoglobin in their blood cells. Hemoglobin is a protein present in red blood cells that help to carry oxygen throughout the body.


Sickle Cell and Your Eyes

Sickle cell disease can affect many organs in the body, including the eyes. Eye signs can include the following:

  • Eye redness caused by comma-shaped blood vessels
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Atrophy or weakening of the iris
  • New blood vessel growth (neovascularization) of the iris
  • Snake-like shaped blood vessels
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Pigmentations in the retinal periphery


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