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Does High Blood Pressure Affect Eyesight?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Garima Sharma 92% (462ratings)
Does High Blood Pressure Affect Eyesight?

High blood pressure is a silent killer since it can damage different organs of the body slowly. It can lead to poor quality of life and even damage your eyes. Eyes are one of the most delicate organs of the body. There are tiny blood vessels in the eyes which can get damaged due to chronic hypertension.

Effect of blood Pressure on different areas of vision:

1) Blood Vessels Damage

Owing to damage to the tiny blood vessels inside the eyes, blood flow can get affected. This can lead to a lack of blood flow to the retina of the eyes. This is known as hypertensive retinopathy. A person suffering from it may have vision problems and headaches. If the retina does not get enough blood, the person may suffer from blurred vision and even complete loss of sight. If the affected person is suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure adds more to the condition. Managing high blood pressure is the only way to treat such visual problems.

2) Macular Edema

High blood pressure can lead to a buildup of fluid in the central portion of the retina, known as macula. This is known as macular edema. Since the retina, especially the central portion of it, is responsible for finding details of objects to focus on, Macular edema can lead to distorted or blurry vision. This portion is also the colour-sensitive layer of the eyes. So high blood pressure can precipitate a condition when the person may not just have blurry vision, but also cannot identify the colour.

3) Optic Neuropathy

This is a name given to nerve damage of the eyes. Since the flow of blood to various parts of the eyes becomes restricted, it also affects the optic nerve. The optic nerve is an important since it transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. If the optic nerve is affected due to lack of blood flow, it cannot convey visual signals to the brain properly. Steadily, the nerve may dry up. This is a serious condition since it may precipitate temporary and even permanent loss of vision.

4) Stroke

High blood pressure can cause strokes, and strokes may impair the optic nerve. It may even damage the portion of the brain which is responsible for processing the visual stimulus from the retina. This can cause permanent vision loss.

High blood pressure affecting the eyes is one of the biggest effects of this disease. Unfortunately, it rarely has any distinctive symptoms in the initial stages. However, if a person is experiencing blurry vision, headache etc. he/she needs to see an Ophthalmologist immediately to see if high blood pressure is responsible for it.

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