High blood pressure can lead to hypertension, which is known to cause a variety of debilitating side effects or symptoms in the life of the patient. It can also lead to a number of related ailments which can affect the various organs of the body. The eyes are one of the organs that are most susceptible to this kind of spike in the body’s blood pressure. Let us learn more about the connection between the two.
Retina: When high blood pressure goes untreated for a prolonged period, it can easily start to affect the blood vessels that can be found in the retina. The retina is the third or the inner most layer of the eye which is sensitive towards light and usually helps in refraction. This is where the light reaches so that one can focus clearly on an image. When the blood pressure of the patient stays high for a prolonged basis, there is significant pressure on the blood vessels in this part of the eye which can lead to an eye disease known as hypertensive retinopathy. Sudden increase of Hypertension or Uncontrolled Hypertension can cause Papilloedema (Swelling of the Optic Nerve) which if untreated can cause blindness.
Symptoms: Symptoms of this eye disease include lack of clarity and focus when the eye comes to rest on an object, as well as headaches and other vision problems that typically spring from eye strain that one will go through while trying to focus even harder. It may be seen that the symptoms do not appear in the very early stages of this disease.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis of the condition is usually done by an ophthalmologist who will use an ophthalmoscope in order to project light towards the specific part of the eye so that the back of the eyeballs can be examined. The signs that the doctor will look for during the examination include narrowing of the blood vessels in this part of the eye, inflammation of the macula which is the central portion of the retina, and bleeding in the back of the eye. Also, the doctor will check for spots in the retina with the help of cotton swabs and exudates.
Treatment: The best and only way of treating this condition is by keeping one’s blood pressure in control with the help of medication prescribed by the doctor.
Prevention: There are many ways of preventing the onset of this disease, including losing weight so that there is less pressure on the body. Also, one must stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly after taking recommendations on the appropriate exercises from the doctor. Additionally, it is also important to see a doctor on a regular basis so that there is constant monitoring and regulation of the medicines and the blood pressure.
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