There is no doubt that high blood pressure is a major concern for many reasons. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart disease, and many other illnesses. Additionally, high blood pressure can damage your eyes.

High Blood Pressure and Eye Health:

The heart pumps blood forcefully when an individual has high blood pressure. In turn, this causes friction, which damages arteries.  High blood pressure can damage the arteries in the eye, resulting in decreased blood flow and other health concerns. High blood pressure can cause

  1. Hypertensive Retinopathy: this occurs when inadequate blood flow reaches the retina, which can cause blurred vision and even blindness.
  2. Choroidopathy: this occurs when fluid under the retina accumulates, which can lead to vision distortion and impairment.
  3. Optic Neuropathy: This occurs when the optic nerve is damaged. The eye's nerve cells can die as a result of decreased blood flow, which can result in either temporary or permanent vision loss.

Who is at risk:

Everyone is at risk for high blood pressure, but certain groups of individuals are more susceptible than others. Individuals who are overweight, have diabetes, consume high amounts of salt, or have a family history of high blood pressure are at increased risk. Additionally, the risk for high blood pressure can be increased by lifestyle choices. Individuals who lead stressful lives, sedentary lifestyles, or drink moderately to heavily are more prone to high blood pressure. Lastly, women can have an increased risk for high blood pressure. Pregnant women are susceptible to a specific kind of high blood pressure, Preeclampsia. Additionally, the changes a woman experiences throughout menopause may make her more susceptible to high blood pressure.

How to prevent High Blood Pressure:

There are various lifestyle adjustments individuals can undertake to lower their blood pressure. Individuals can abstain from smoking, maintain a healthy body weight, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and limit their alcohol intake. Additionally, to prevent high blood pressure from causing damage to the eyes or any other organ, individuals should regularly monitor their blood pressure, and look for symptoms of high blood pressure especially if they are in a group with increased risk. A few common symptoms of high blood pressure are fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. However, because symptoms can be very subtle and go undetected, individuals should have regular checkups with their doctor.

Come see the experts at Island Retina if you have any questions about high blood pressure, and its impact on your eyes.