Having high blood pressure alone typically will not impact a person’s vision, uncontrolled blood pressure over an extended period of time can have a negative affect your vision however. Overtime high blood pressure can cause damage to the retina’s blood vessels, limit the function of the retina and put pressure on the optic nerve causing vision problems. The resulting condition known as hypertensive retinopathy can be a risk factor in the progression of eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
Why High Blood Pressure Affects The Health Of Your Eyes
Blood vessels carry blood not only to your heart but also to the blood vessels of your eyes. Due to the large demand for oxygen the tiny blood vessels in the retina can easily be damaged by high blood pressure. During an eye exam your Optometrist checks for changes in the retina by directly viewing the blood vessels of the retina and a healthy retina is essential for good vision. High blood pressure if uncontrolled is also linked to choroidopathy which is a buildup of fluid under the retina. Optic neuropathy or nerve damage is a risk with high blood pressure, the nerve damage occurs when blood flow is blocked. The resulting nerve damage can kill nerve cells in your eyes and result in bleeding in the eye or vision loss.
What You Can Do
There are many things you can do to prevent hypertensive retinopathy and other serious eye conditions by taking an active part in maintaining the health of your eyes. Scheduling regular eye exams where your Optometrist will perform tests as part of the comprehensive examination to ensure the health of your eyes. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet that provides the proper nutrient rich foods, exercising regularly and taking blood pressure medications as prescribed will assure your vision remains healthy. Contact our offices to schedule a Calgary eye exam, we can answer any questions or concerns regarding your vision health.