An eye examination can prove beneficial to more than just your eye health. Conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and excessive levels of cholesterol can all be spotted during an optician’s routine checks. Whilst this is hugely beneficial for catching irregularities that have gone by unnoticed, it also highlights the risk that other aspects of your general health can pose on your eyesight. One of the most common of these dangers comes with high blood pressure. Here, we outline how this affects your eye health and how it can be treated.
How blood pressure affects the eyes
If you have high blood pressure, it is crucial that you have regular eye examinations as the disease can often show no symptoms until in its latter stages. These symptoms may include double vision and headaches. If the blood pressure shows at the back of the eye, your optometrist, with the help of our specialist retinal imaging equipment, will be able to observe signs such as spots on the retina, a swelling of the central retina (known as the macula) and small areas of bleeding in the back of the eye. These signs are commonly known as Hypertensive Retinopathy. High blood pressure also increases the risk of stroke and cardiac arrest.
Preventing and reversing the effects of Hypertensive Retinopathy
The lowering and the control of your blood pressure is the mainstay treatment for Hypersensitive Retinopathy, which will allow the retina to heal itself over a period of a few months. Your doctor may prescribe you medication to help with this, but there are plenty of things you can do to lower it yourself. Make an effort to maintain a healthy diet with a regular exercise routine to boost your general fitness. Reducing your stress levels also plays an important part, as chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure.
Always remember that high blood pressure affects all aspects of your health, including your eyes. Many expert optometrists such as those at Leightons for example can provide appropriate treatment and advice to anyone with concerns regarding eyecare, so it was worth contacting for further advice.