It’s easy for people to think that eye care only relates to the eyes, but in fact, the eyes are closely linked to many bodily systems. Diseases in the body can often have adverse effects in the eyes, and that’s certainly true of high blood pressure.
Someone with untreated blood pressure problems and/or hypertension is likely doing damage to their eyesight. Worse, many of the vision problems associated with hypertension are irreversible, although many can be controlled with medication.
Common Eye Care Issues Stemming From High Blood Pressure
Retinopathy is a condition where the blood vessels in the back of the eye burst from high pressure. This damages vision in two different ways: lack of blood flow to the eye reduces its effectiveness and, left untreated, the interior of the eye can begin to fill with blood.
Damage done by retinopathy cannot be repaired, only mitigated with corrective lenses. So far, rebuilding damaged eyes is beyond the ability of science.
High Intra-Ocular Pressure (IOP)
The increased blood pressure won’t only affect the backs of the eyes, but can eventually cause the eyes themselves to start (slowly) expanding, especially if excess fluid begins to leak into the eye.
This can damage virtually any part of the eye, and is a leading cause of glaucoma – the destruction of the most sensitive areas of the retina. Glaucoma can be controlled with drugs but, as with retinopathy, any damage done is basically permanent.
Symptoms And Prevention
There’s also bad news here for those with undiagnosed or untreated hypertension: By the time you’re experiencing vision problems, damage has already been done. The only “early warning signs” would be headaches or ocular soreness that are indistinguishable from harmless common eye-strain.
Otherwise, the first major warning sign is usually blurriness around the edges of a person’s vision, or less-commonly, visible blood on/in the eye.
Hypertension Care IS Eye Care
It’s really this simple: Male or female, you should be monitoring your blood pressure with regular checkups. If you’re suffering from hypertension, it must be kept under control. Otherwise, the longer a person has untreated hypertension, the more real and irreversible damage they’re doing to their eyesight.
Keep a close watch on your blood pressure, and make sure to tell your Phoenix Optometrist if you’re diagnosed with hypertension so they can update your care accordingly.