Did you know that high blood pressure could affect your vision?
One out of every three adults has high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. That means that high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, puts nearly 78 million pairs of eyes at risk. Professional eye care services can help you reduce eye damage associated with high blood pressure.
To understand the link between hypertension and eyes, it helps to know a bit about blood pressure. Blood courses through a series of vessels to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to body cells then carry away toxins. Each beat of the heart causes blood to exert a tremendous amount of pressure on the inside of the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry it.
High blood pressure is a condition where the blood exerts too much pressure on the inside of blood vessels. Chronic hypertension can damage blood vessels in a way that prevents them from delivering oxygen-rich blood and carrying away toxins. This can damage the organs and tissues served by those blood vessels.
Hypertension can put strain on the blood vessels in your eyes. It can also cause narrowing and bleeding in blood vessels when subjected to too much pressure. High blood pressure can even interfere you’re your ability to see well in that hypertension can cause swelling in the optic nerve, which transmits messages about what you see to your brain. Left untreated, high blood pressure can cause permanent vision problems.
High blood pressure can cause a variety of eye problems, including hypertensive retinopathy, choroidopathy, and optic neuropathy. Hypertensive retinopathy is damage to the eye’s retina, which is the layer of tissue at the back of the eye that changes light and images into signals carried by the optic nerve. Choroidopathy is a conditioner where the choroid, which is the layer of blood vessels and connective tissue situated between the retina and the white of the eye, separates from the retina. Optic neuropathy describes any kind of damage to the optic nerve.
Eye Care Services for Patients with High Blood Pressure
The damaging effects of hypertension are cumulative so the longer high blood pressure goes untreated, the higher the chances that eye damage will be permanent. Reducing blood pressure levels and controlling hypertension is essential to effective treatment of eye problems resulting from high blood pressure. Professional eye care is also important in reducing the risk for vision loss associated with hypertension.
Eye care professionals can detect, diagnose and treat many types of eye problems caused by hypertension. A healthcare professional uses an ophthalmoscope to examine the condition of the network of tiny capillaries in the eye. This tool allows the eye care professional to detect retinopathy, optic neuropathy, and choroidopathy. Each of these conditions requires professional treatment. Prognosis largely depends on the amount of damage caused by high blood pressure and the duration of your hypertension.
If you suffer from hypertension, make an appointment with your eye doctor.