Does High Blood Pressure Blurred Your Vision?

Oct 18, 2023

Introduction

The American Cardiovascular Association cautions that elevated blood pressure can result in some eye disorders, including fluid buildup beneath the retina (choroidopathy), damage to the optic nerve, and injury to blood vessels in the retina (hypertensive retinopathy).


The retina which is the outermost layer oversees gathering light that reaches the eye and transmitting signals into the brain so that they may be translated into pictures. You could feel floaters, double vision, or reduced vision when this area of the eye is injured. (Zokaeim, 2023)

How Eyes Are Affected by High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure harms the blood vessels, notably those in the eyes. When blood pressure increases, the tissue layers surrounding the eye are disturbed, and plaque formation begins. Blood vessel constriction causes an increase in blood pressure.


The blood supplies the eyeballs with the nutrients and oxygen they need. If the arteries in the eye are damaged or clogged with plaque, one may eventually begin to have visual problems.

 (Wong et al., 2007)

Tests and Exams

An ophthalmoscope will be used by your doctor to check for blood vessel narrowing and indications of fluid leakage from blood vessels.


On a rating system of 1 to 4, the degree of retinal damage (retinopathy) is rated:


○ Grade 1: Normally, you wouldn't have any symptoms.

○ Grades 2 to 3: The blood vessels have undergone a variety of alterations, and there is swelling and blood vessel leakage in different areas of the retina.

○ Grade 4: Your macular (the visual centre of the retina) and optic nerve will expand. Vision loss may result from this swelling. (Leighton et al., 1972)

Hypertensive Retinal Disease Symptoms

An eye care specialist can identify hypertensive retinopathy. Applying an ophthalmoscope, a device that projects light to inspect the back of the eye, the doctor will search for retinopathy symptoms such as:


√ blood vessels narrowing

√ Wool and cotton spots and exudates, patches on the retina

√ swelling of the optic nerve and macula, the retina's centre,

√ The inner portion of the eye is bleeding.

√ injury to the eyes. (Hayreh et al., 1996)


Eye Problems Due To Hypertension

Retinopathy refers to irritation to the blood arteries of the retina. Disruption to the arteries within the retina, the tissue that responds to light at the inner side of the eye, can cause eye hemorrhage, impaired vision, and even total blindness.


Choroidopathy is the accumulation of fluid behind the retina. Vision that is distorted or occasionally vision-impairing scarring can arise from choroidopathy.


Glaucoma sufferers have fluid accumulation in the anterior region of the eye, which elevates ocular pressure. This may gradually harm the optic nerve's function and impair peripheral vision over time. Glaucoma can, in severe cases and if untreated, result in complete blindness.


Optic neuropathy involves nerve injury in the eye brought on by a blockage in the blood supply to the retina. This obstruction destroys nerve cells, impairing vision and resulting in eye haemorrhage. (Wong et al., 2007)

Diagnosis

The ophthalmologist may perform a some tests to determine the severity of retinal impairment. 


Fluorescein angiography: 

This examination finds issues with blood flow, such as leaks or blockages in the retinal blood vessels. To gain a better look, the doctor could dilate your pupils.

After administering a dye through a vein in the arm, doctors take pictures of the blood circulation in the retinal arteries using a device that resembles a camera. (Zokaeim, 2023)

Ophthalmoscopy:

This examination finds issues with blood flow, such as leaks or blockages in the retinal blood vessels. To gain a better look, the doctor could dilate your pupils.

After administering a dye through a vein in the arm, doctors take pictures of the blood circulation in the retinal arteries using a device that resembles a camera. (Zokaeim, 2023)

Management

You may make a number of lifestyle adjustments to reduce your blood pressure. Many of these revolve around your eating and exercise routines, with recommendations like:


√ reduce weight.

√ Lessen your intake of salt.

√ Drink less alcohol.

√ Regular exercise is advised.

√ Stop smoking.

√ Eat extra potassium, which is present in foods like bananas, avocados, and leafy greens.

√ Reduce stress. (Hayreh et al., 1996)

References:

1. Zokaeim, D. S. (2023, September 19). Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Vision? Assil Gaur Eye Institute Blog. 


2. Wong, T., & Mitchell, P. (2007). The eye in hypertension. The Lancet, 369(9559), 425-435.


3. Leighton, D. A., & Phillips, C. I. (1972). Systemic blood pressure in open-angle glaucoma, low tension glaucoma, and the normal eye. The British journal of ophthalmology, 56(6), 447.


4. Hayreh, S. S. (1996). Systemic arterial blood pressure and the eye. Eye, 10(1), 5-28.

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