High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the silent killer. This is because it often goes untreated and undiagnosed in many people. Left untreated, it can cause damage to the heart, the lungs, and the circulatory system. So what does this condition mean for your eyes? According to the American Heart Association, there are…
Three ways in which hypertension can affect your eyesight:
1. Hypertension can damage the blood vessels in the eye, as well as the optic nerve
Since blood flows through the blood vessels at a higher pressure than usual, the delicate blood vessels can become damaged. In the eyes, high blood pressure makes blood vessels restrict or even break, causing eye bleeding and vision problems. The damage to the blood vessels could also cause leakage in a layer of tissue under the retina. This condition, called choroidopathy, can cause scarring that will permanently damage vision. High blood pressure can also make the optic nerve swell, which reduces vision.
2. Hypertension can cause a stroke, which can lead to vision damage or loss
The arteries in the brain are damaged by hypertension, which makes a stroke more likely. Arteries to the brain are either clogged or burst during a stroke, meaning that a part of the brain will lack oxygen and nutrients and will begin to die. This could mean damage in the area of the brain responsible for handling vision. Damage to the brain could also result in damage to the optic nerve (optic neuropathy), which could impair vision.
3. Untreated hypertension can lead to hypertensive retinopathy
Maybe the biggest concern for hypertension and vision is a disease called hypertensive retinopathy. In this disease, the high blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels that lead to the retina. This can result in eye cells dying, which means blurred vision, eye bleeding, and permanent vision damage. Any damage done by hypertensive retinopathy is non-reversible, and untreated hypertension could lead to permanent blindness.
How to Combat Eye Problems Caused by High Blood Pressure
Getting your blood pressure tested by your regular doctor annually is important. Early detection of blood pressure problems can help treatment begin before any damage is done.
Also, be sure to have an annual eye exam with an expert ophthalmologist. These trained eye doctors know the exact signs and symptoms of hypertension-related eye problems. They also know when problems in the eye can be a sign of a bigger problem within the body. Simply getting an eye exam can do more than get you a prescription for glasses or contacts, it could truly save your life.
Get Checked at Advanced Eye Medical
If you want to avoid the blurry vision, eye bleeding, and vision problems that can come with high blood pressure, then call the experts at Advanced Eye Medical today. Getting a simple exam can keep your eyes healthy and effective and can even screen for bigger problems. Schedule your appointment today and protect your body and your eyes.