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Can Blood Pressure Affect Vision

How Can You Reduce Your Blood Pressure

Did you Know High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Eyesight?

There are several lifestyle changes you can implement in order to lower your blood pressure. Many of these centre around your diet and exercise habits, with suggestions such as:

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce salt in your diet
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Exercise frequently
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat more potassium
  • Minimise stress

Other risk factors for having high blood pressure include your gender , being aged 60+, as well as having a family history of high blood pressure. It tends to be inherited and could also be related in part to your ethnicity. It has been found that patients of black African or black Caribbean descent have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure than their white or Asian counterparts.

Ensure that you visit your optician regularly for an eye test as this is the best way to monitor any changes to your vision and eye health. Picking up any blood pressure-related problems as soon as possible allows you to seek treatment promptly and therefore act to save your vision before its too late.

How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Eye Health

1 in 3 adults in the UK are estimated to have high blood pressure. One of the key things to note about high blood pressure is that it has no noticeable symptoms most of the time, leading to 5 million British adults living with high blood pressure, undiagnosed. For adults, a blood pressure reading of between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg is ideal, while a reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher is cause for concern. A hypertensive crisis is the name given to readings of 180/20 mmHg or higher, and you should seek medical assistance urgently if your reading is this high. The numbers show the pressure of the blood flow as your heart contracts and relaxes to pump blood around your body.

High blood pressure can lead to the following eye conditions:

  • Hypertensive retinopathy
  • Optic neuropathy

Were going to look into each of these conditions, how high blood pressure can play a part in its onset, and what steps you can take to reduce your blood pressure to a healthy level.

S Of Eye Pressure Measurement

Depending on what causes high eye pressure, your treatment may vary. The best way to detect high eye pressure is by seeing your eye doctor for an eye exam. Checking eye pressure involves conducting a tonometry, which is a type of test that measures your eye pressure. In the past, eye doctors used a puff of air to detect your eye pressure. Now, most eye doctors use a more accurate device to measure your eye pressure.

First, your doctor will place eye drops in your eyes to numb them. Next, he or she will use a glowing device with a blue light to gently touch the front of your eyeball. Your doctor may also use a handheld device to touch your eye. Both devices apply a light touch of pressure to your eye. This allows your doctor to measure the amount of pressure inside your eye.

You can also conduct an eye pressure test at home by using an at-home tonometer. These handheld devices are designed to test your eye pressure at home the same way your doctor would during an eye exam. Be sure to talk to your doctor to see if an at-home tonometer is right for you. Keep in mind that for the most accurate results, you should only conduct a tonomy at your doctors office or under your doctors supervision. This prevents the risk of injuring your eye and ensures that your reading will be accurate.

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Hbp Can Harm Your Eyesight In Many Ways

Your eyes contain many tiny blood vessels. When subjected to the long-term effects of high blood pressure, the following conditions can develop:

  • Blood vessel damage : A lack of blood flow to the retina leads to blurred vision or the complete loss of sight. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at an even greater risk for developing this condition. Managing blood pressure is also the only way to treat hypertensive retinopathy.
  • Fluid buildup under the retina : This buildup of fluid under the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eyeball, results in distorted vision or, in some cases, scarring that impairs vision.
  • Nerve damage : The result of blocked blood flow that damages the optic nerve, it can kill nerve cells in your eyes, which may cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Low Blood Pressure Dehydration And Blurred Vision

Hypertension And Vision Problems: How Can High Blood Pressure Affect ...

An often-overlooked cause of blurry vision is dehydration. When you become severely dehydrated, your blood pressure drops, leading to dizziness. The brain may not receive enough oxygen.

The levels of important electrolytes such as sodium and potassium may also drop due to dehydration. Electrolytes transfer electrical signals throughout the body. If the levels become too low, the signal transfer becomes abnormal.

The combination of low blood pressure and an electrolyte imbalance due to dehydration can cause blurry vision. If you experience blurred vision, dizziness and a headache all at once, increase your water intake and schedule an exam with an eye doctor in West Florida.

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What Does Normal Pressure In Your Eyes Feel Like

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye pressure is measured by the amount of fluid in your eye. Its similar to measuring your blood pressure. Your eye contains a substance called vitreous humor, which looks and feels like jelly and is located in the back of your eye. Aqueous humor is a watery liquid that is also located in your eye, but its mostly in the front part of the eye in front of the iris and behind the cornea.

In a normal or healthy eye, there is a small amount of aqueous humor that always enters while an equal amount drains. Most of this liquid flows out of the eye through an area in front of the iris known as the drainage angle. This continuous flow ensure that you have a steady pressure in your eyes. So, what causes eye pressure to go up? An imbalance in this procedure can make you feel like you have too much or too little eye pressure in your eyes.

Normal eye pressure should feel comfortable. In other words, it should feel like nothing is wrong with your eyes. This indicates that the drainage angle is working properly and there are no issues. You can measure your eye pressure in millimeters of mercury or mm, similar to how a thermometer measures temperature. Normal eye pressure measures between 10 and 20 mm. Some people have high or low eye pressure with no other symptoms. Others experience vision loss or optic nerve damage.

Q: Is It True Diabetic Eye Disease Has No Symptoms Until It Is Advanced To A Significant Level

The earlier youre diagnosed with diabetic eye disease, the better your visual outcome will be.

The goal is to find changes before damage is irreversible. Blurry vision is the first, and main, warning sign and can be treated. Sadly, most diabetic eye disease has no symptoms until it is advanced to a significant level.

That is why annual comprehensive eye exams are so important. Once caught, it can take as long as three months for your vision to fully get back to normal, if it does. Without treatment, it can lead to vision loss. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 to 74.

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How Is Hypertensive Retinopathy Diagnosed

An eye care professional can diagnose hypertensive retinopathy. Using an ophthalmoscope, an instrument that projects light to examine the back of the eyeball, the doctor will look for signs of retinopathy that include:

  • Narrowing of blood vessels
  • Spots on the retina known as cotton wool spots and exudates
  • Swelling of the macula and optic nerve
  • Bleeding in the back of the eye

The Link Between Blood Pressure And Vision Problems

Blurry vision, brain fog, and increased ocular pressure, due to Intracranial Hypertension

Most people dont think about their eyes when it comes to their blood pressure, but there are actually several indicators of hypertension that medical professionals can detect during an eye exam. High blood pressure and red eyes often occur simultaneously. The eyes are full of blood vessels, and they typically stiffen and join each other in instances of high blood pressure. Severe cases can lead to blood leakage and busted blood vessels, which can have many dangerous effects on the vision.

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Is My Blood Pressure Linked To My Eye Pressure

Blood pressure and eye pressure vary independently. Controlling blood pressure does not mean IOP is controlled. But studies have shown that patients with high blood pressure have an increased risk for glaucoma. Very high blood pressure is not good for glaucoma.

Moderate to very low blood pressure is also a problem because it is important for the optic nerve to receive sufficient blood flow. Evidence suggests that low ocular perfusion pressure is a strong risk factor for glaucoma. Ocular perfusion pressure is a complex variable that can be considered as the difference between the blood pressure and the eye pressure. If the blood pressure is low and the eye pressure is elevated, blood has difficulty getting into the eye to supply oxygen and important nutrients.

Patients who are taking medication for high blood pressure may actually have their blood pressures dropping to very low levels during the hours they are sleeping. This reduces the amount of blood flow to the eye and optic nerve and may compromise the optic nerve. The role of blood flow in optic nerve damage is the subject of ongoing study. We now understand that in some forms of glaucoma, there is a strong link between glaucoma and reduced blood flow to the optic nerve.

Your eye care professional needs to know about all your medical conditions and the medications you are taking and needs to work with your other doctors to make sure everything is in synch.

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Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Blurred Vision

Low blood pressure is typically a good thing for most people. If you have low blood pressure, you have a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 . However, your blood pressure can reach a point where it is too low. When that occurs, you experience a condition doctors call hypotension.

The causes of low blood pressure can range from medical disorders to chronic dehydration. Common symptoms of low blood pressure include:

  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • lack of concentration

Another symptom of low blood pressure is blurred vision. If you experience blurred vision combined with other symptoms, you should schedule an eye exam in West Florida.

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How Does Low Blood Pressure Affect Vision

One condition that can arise from low blood pressure is blurred vision. How does low blood pressure cause blurred vision? The condition occurs due to poor circulation in the blood vessels that supply the front portion of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the cable that connects the brain to the eye and carries millions of nerve fibers and blood vessels.

Although blurred vision can occur from a total blockage of a blood vessel that feeds the optic nerve, it is more commonly caused by a lack of pressure or perfusion of the tissue. Blood pressure may change relative to the eye pressure, and the normal flow of blood reduces. If the optic nerve’s nutrient and oxygen supply stops due to low blood pressure, nerve tissue is damaged and lost. This results in vision loss or blurred vision.

What Is Hypertensive Retinopathy

Does High Blood Pressure Affect Vision?

The retina is the tissue layer located in the back of your eye. This layer transforms light into nerve signals that are then sent to the brain for interpretation.

When your blood pressure is too high, the retinas blood vessel walls may thicken. This may cause your blood vessels to become narrow, which then restricts blood from reaching the retina. In some cases, the retina becomes swollen.

Over time, high blood pressure can cause damage to the retinas blood vessels, limit the retinas function, and put pressure on the optic nerve, causing vision problems. This condition is called hypertensive retinopathy .

You probably wont have any symptoms until the condition has progressed extensively. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • reduced vision
  • bursting of a blood vessel
  • double vision accompanied by headaches

Get medical help immediately if your blood pressure is high and you suddenly have changes in your vision.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hypertensive Retinopathy

A person typically won’t experience symptoms of mild to moderate hypertensive retinopathy it is usually discovered during a routine eye exam. Symptoms of more severe and accelerated hypertension might include headaches and vision problems.

Severe retinopathy can occur alongside high blood pressure during pregnancy, so prenatal care is important.

Can High Blood Pressure Affect The Vision

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High Blood Pressure And Glaucoma

Can high blood pressure cause glaucoma? The research is not conclusive. Doctors know that increased blood pressure results in increased eye pressure, possibly because high blood pressure increases the amount of fluid the eye produces and/or affects the eyes drainage system.

However, even though there is a positive relationship between blood pressure and eye pressure , the effects are not very large. It is estimated that blood pressure needs to increase by 10 mmHg in order to raise the eye pressure 0.26 mmHg. In addition to increasing eye pressure and the possible risk of glaucoma, it is important to keep in mind that high blood pressure can also cause damage to the retina and result in hypertensive retinopathy, which is damage to the retina and retinal circulation.

Finally, of course, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, so it is crucial to treat.

What Causes Hypertensive Retinopathy

How does blood pressure affect my eyes? DRMC HD

Prolonged high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the main cause of HR. High blood pressure is a chronic problem in which the force of the blood against your arteries is too high.

The force is a result of the blood pumping out of the heart and into the arteries, as well as the force created as the heart rests between heartbeats.

When the blood moves through the body at a higher pressure, the tissue that makes up the arteries will begin to stretch and eventually become damaged. This leads to many problems over time.

HR generally occurs after your blood pressure has been consistently high over a prolonged period. Your blood pressure levels can be affected by:

  • a lack of physical activity
  • being overweight

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Ocular Effects Of Hypertension


High blood pressure is not only bad for your cardiovascular system but for your eyes and vision as well. At least 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the risk of serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive retinopathy. The danger posed by hypertension is that blood pressure can be high for years without a patient noticing any symptoms. Hypertension can be diagnosed by an optometrist and by a primary care physician and controlled with medication and diet . Concentrating on a review of recent literature, this paper focuses upon the broad spectrum of ocular problems caused by hypertension.



Hypertension that is uncontrolled can cause hypertensive retinopathy, which is a severe detrimental condition that affects vision. The retina is the lining of the back of the eye and has delicate blood vessels lining on top of it and below. The retina can be affected by many medical conditions and eye diseases. If high blood pressure is not well controlled, changes can happen in the retinal blood vessels. These changes are called hypertensive retinopathy .


An exam using a slit lamp with the help of the Digital Wide Field Lens or through binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy to look at the back of the eye. Both techniques allow the doctor to view the blood vessels, but can also help discern differences in elevation and/or edema .

Low Blood Pressure And Glaucoma

On the other hand, having low blood pressure can be a risk factor for developing glaucoma, as several large studies have shown. Specifically, ocular perfusion pressure, which is essentially the difference between blood pressure and eye pressure, is a risk factor for glaucoma diagnosis.

Ocular perfusion pressure can occur in patients who naturally have low blood pressure but also for patients with high blood pressure who are overtreated with medications. Given current recommendations for blood pressure control, which have become more strict over time, overtreatment is a real possibility.

Another time when low blood pressure may become an issue is when blood pressure naturally dips at night. Both blood pressure and eye pressure vary over the course of the day, and in situations where blood pressure drops and eye pressure increases overnight, damage to the optic nerve could be occurring.

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Ways High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Eye Health

November 10, 2021 by Dr. Mary Ann Zastrow

Hypertension or high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to supply blood to your body. It can cause a range of serious health issues including stroke, kidney problems and other heart issues. Various factors can increase the risk of this health condition, such as smoking, stress, genetics, excessive salt intake and obesity. People who consume too much alcohol and older individuals are more likely to suffer from hypertension.

Another part of your body that high blood pressure can harm is your eyes. A specialist from a local eye clinic explains the possible risks of hypertension to your eye health.


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