The Effects of High Blood Pressure on Your Eyes

The Effects of High Blood Pressure on Your Eyes



Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause serious conditions among men and women.  Coronary disease, stroke, arteriosclerosis and other life-threatening diseases can occur.


However, another less talked about but equally important factor is that the effects of high blood pressure on your eyes are just as damaging.


The clinical term is called hypertensive retinopathy.  Basically this means that high blood pressure causes damage to the retina.


The blood vessels in our eyes are just as vulnerable to hypertension as the rest of our body.  Retinopathy can cause leakage in the blood vessels of the eyes and can lead to swelling, blurred vision and in some cases, entire loss of vision.


Diabetics are at an even higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.  According to medical sources, “Nearly half of the people with known diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.  The longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is you’ll develop diabetic retinopathy.  Initially, most people with diabetic retinopathy experience only mild vision problems.  But the condition can worsen and threaten your vision.”


A frequent check-up for diabetics is recommended since early detection and treatment greatly reduces the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.  In addition, keeping a check on your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol also decreases the chances of you being at risk from this disease.


When your blood pressure is high, the incidents of damage to the blood vessels in the eyes are greatest so regular examination of the blood vessels will help detect if there is any leakage from them.


Your ophthalmologist can also determine the degree to which the retina is damaged.  This damage is assessed by grade.


For example, a grade one finding means there are no apparent symptoms, where-as a grade four finding is the point at which retinopathy is present; the doctor can make this diagnosis based upon the swelling of the macula as well as the optic nerve.  It is the swelling that causes a decrease in vision.


High blood pressure is known as the silent killer.  Exercise, proper nutrition, and frequent check-ups to determine the status of your health are important not only to your mind and body, but to your eyes as well.


We live in a fast-paced world that requires us to do multiple tasks at one time.  The stress caused by having to handle so many things simultaneously contributes to high blood pressure and the health problems it can eventually cause.


It is important to become fully aware of any variation in your vision, and to gain as much knowledge as you can with regard to the complications that could arise from high blood pressure and its effect on all of the organs in the body.


And, should you detect a variation, get it checked by your optician as soon as possible – it may be an indicator of other conditions that need treatment.



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