Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one of the few treatments proven effective for central retinal artery occlusion. Physicians may also use intravenous and topical medications or carbogen therapy, a combination of carbon dioxide and oxygen gas, to reduce pressure and increase blood circulation in the eye.

Central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a blockage in one of the small arteries that supply blood to the retina of the eye. The retina is the back wall of the eye that senses light and transmits images to the brain. People with CRAO experience sudden blindness, blurring, or partial loss of vision. The vascular event is usually brief and painless, but retinal damage and impaired vision may be permanent.

Artery blockages, or occlusions, are caused by clots or fat deposits circulating with the blood. Hardening of the arteries and other cardiovascular diseases greatly increase the risk. CRAO may also be an early warning sign of stroke, heart attack, or other life-threatening medical emergencies.

The retina consumes oxygen at a rate faster than any other organ in the body. It is highly sensitive a lack of blood supply. In the treatment of CRAO hyperbaric oxygen therapy has succeeded where others in the last 100 years have failed. But quick access to an emergency-ready chamber is a must.

It is beneficial if begun within 2-12 hours of symptom onset.