High Blood Pressure and the Eyes
|Your retina is the only place in your body that live blood vessels can be viewed without actually cutting any tissue. When we examine your eyes, we check for the signs that indicate whether your blood pressure has been high for an extended period of time. Often, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure experience changes in the back of both eyes and may never notice any difference in their vision.The long term effects of chronic high blood pressure on the vasculature that nourishes your eyes may take 10-30 years to develop. Maintaining a good blood pressure is the best way to keep your vessels healthy.
An analogy can be made comparing your blood vessels to a rubber hose. If a rubber hose is rated for 90 pounds/square inch and the actual pressure is greater, the hose may burst. Whatever device the hose is supplying will no longer be functional. If an artery supplying your heart bursts, it is called a heart attack. A stroke is caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain, and if a blood vessel that supplies the eye bursts, it may lead to partial or complete blindness to that eye.
|There are many ways that high blood pressure can be controlled, depending on the severity. It may only take a mild exercise program combined with nutritional changes that include reduced salt and fat intake. Lifestyle changes may be recommended to help reduce stress. These must be done slowly and one at a time. Advanced medical therapy is also available for conditions that are unresponsive to non-medicinal methods. Routine health care is recommended so that professionals can monitor your progress and make further recommendations.It is important that you have a complete physical examination on a regular basis. If you have not had one recently, you should arrange to have one at your medical doctor’s office.|
If you need a referral, we can arrange this with one of many excellent, local physicians.
For more information concerning heart issues, visit the American Heart Association.