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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND YOUR VISION

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

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AND
YOUR VISION


Nearly 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure or hypertension reports the American Heart Association. To understand the relation of hypertension and our eyes: Every heartbeat causes blood to put pressure on the arteries and capillaries that carry it. High blood pressure is when your heartbeat exerts too much pressure on the vessels. Hypertension that goes on for an extended time can damage the vessels which in turn will cause harm to the organs they supply.
…including the eyes.

High blood pressure can even hamper your vision by causing swelling in the optic nerve. It also causes small hemorrhages and narrowing of the eyes’ blood vessels. Other eye related issues related to high blood pressure are: optic neuropathy (damage of the optic nerve caused by a blockage of its blood supply), choroidopathy(fluid build up under the retina), and hypertensive retinopathy (retinal vascular damage).


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2) Symptoms of eye damage caused by high blood pressure can vary…such as impaired vision, double vision, headaches, blind spots, burst blood vessels. Often these symptoms do not manifest till much damage has already occurred.


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3) Risk Factors include
-diabetes
-high blood pressure over a long period
-smoking
-hardening of the arteries
-being overweight
-high cholesterol


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4) Treatment-
The main therapy is to keep high blood pressure under control through medications and life style changes.Taking steps to reduce the above risk factors is vital.


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High blood pressure can damage your eyes as well as other organs of your body. Let your health care practitioners, including your optometrist, know of any family history of high blood pressure, stroke, cardiac disease. Have your pressure checked on a regular basis and follow guidelines for healthy living.