•Retinal vein occlusion is a common cause of vision loss.•Risk factors include hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.•Thrombophilia screening is usually not required.•No high-quality evidence exists to support routine use of antithrombotic drugs.•Anticoagulation may be considered in select patients.
Retinal vein occlusion is a common and important cause of vision loss. In general, knowledge about this condition is scant within an internist's practice but the condition is relevant because of its association with other chronic ailments. A diagnosis of RVO should prompt the investigation of conditions needing chronic management in these patients. In this review we summarize the clinical presentation of RVO, its classification, associated risk factors, and treatment focused in the internist's scope of practice.