Complications of SCD: Vision Loss

At a glance

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited blood disorders associated with severe pain and complications that can affect the entire body. This page provides information on SCD and vision loss.

Man with his head in an eye-scanning device.


Sickled cells can block blood flow in the blood vessels in the eye. A blockage can occur in any part of the eye, but a blockage in the blood vessels in the retina (layer of tissue in the back of the eye that sends images to your brain) is the most common.

People with a blockage may not experience any symptoms and then suddenly experience vision problems, leading to permanent blindness.