Hypertension and Your Vision
There are several symptoms that can indicate hypertension, but those symptoms usually aren't recognized until the high blood pressure has gotten severe or one has had a heart attack or a stroke. Sometimes a symptom such as a headache is ignored because headaches are such a common occurrence in our lives. Yet there is another symptom that may suggest something more severe and is still sometimes ignored.
That symptom is blurred vision. Blurred vision can actually be a symptom of a more serious condition that affects the eyes called hypertensive retinopathy. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the retina, which is the area where images focus in the back of you eye. If you have high blood pressure and do not know it, serious damage to one or both eyes can be very serious. If you are having severe headaches and blurred vision, an Optometrist can diagnose hypertensive retinopathy. He does this by using an ophthalmoscope that uses light to see the back of your eye. If you have hypertensive retinopathy, your doctor may see:
- Narrowed blood vessels
- Spots on the retina
- Bleeding in the rear area of the eye
- Oozing from the eye's blood vessels
- Or swelling of the macula and optic nerve
If these things are discovered, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent more severe things from happening to your eyes. The doctor will then inform you that the condition is due to high blood pressure, so if you do not know you have high blood pressure at that point, you will need to get it treated. Treatment is the primary way to treat hypertensive retinopathy, since there is not really a treatment to treat the retina itself being that it is at the back of the eye. The narrowing of the blood vessels in the eyes are just a couple of the areas in your body that high blood pressure influences and just like any other area of the body, hypertensive retinopathy is treated by getting control over the high blood pressure through medication, healthy diet, and exercise.
There is a way you can prevent hypertensive retinopathy - prevention of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy diet and having a regular aerobic exercise routine will prevent cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), stroke, or heart attack.ï¿½ Since hypertensive retinopathy can cause blindness if high blood pressure is undiagnosed, it is important that you visit your doctor on a regular basis so that any changes in your blood pressure can be monitored.
Another step in prevention is informing your doctor of any updates in your family history. This way, your doctor knows what factors to pay close attention to when you start displaying symptoms of any disease.ï¿½ Genetics play a role in hypertension, so it is very important that you start at a young age in preventing such things as hypertensive retinopathy, stroke, heart attack, and arteriosclerosis.ï¿½ï¿½ What you are doing is prolonging your life and feeling great while doing it.