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High Blood Pressure In Eyes

Normal Eye Pressure Range By Age

Did you Know High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Eyesight?

What is good eye pressure? Normal eye pressure is defined as having an intraocular eye pressure measurement of 10 to 21 mm Hg. Your risk of glaucoma and intraocular eye pressure increases as you get older. Experiencing high eye pressure before turning 40 could be a sign of a more serious condition.

According to one study that tested a group of 3135 patients with an average age of 64.1 years old, the average eye pressure measurement was 14.7 mm HG. The results found that most people aged 40 to 54 years old had an eye pressure measurement of 20 to 21 mm Hg while people over the age of 80 had a reading of 18 to 19 mm Hg. The results also showed that a high eye pressure reading was associated with younger age, high blood sugar levels, a higher pulse rate, high diastolic blood pressure, and a higher consumption of alcohol.

The eye pressure measurement decreased by 0.50 and 0.76 mm Hg for every increase in age by ten years. In the group of 50 to 55 year olds, the age-adjusted eye measurements ranged from 9 to 18 mm HG while the group of 75 year olds and above ranged from 8 to 18 mm HG.

Graph source: https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/hypertension.htm

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.

What Causes High Eye Pressure

Factors that cause or are associated with ocular hypertension are virtually the same as the causes of glaucoma. These include:

Also, race, age and family history play a role in your risk for ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Though anyone can develop high eye pressure, the following groups are generally at greater risk:

  • African Americans

  • Anyone with a family history of ocular hypertension or glaucoma

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What Exactly Is Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is how much force it takes for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. High blood pressure affects 26 percent of the worlds population and means it takes your heart significant effort to pump blood throughout your body. Low blood pressure affects 31 percent of the worlds population and means that blood may not be circulating efficiently enough people with blood pressure on the low/normal end of the spectrum may be familiar with the all-too-common cold hands and feet problem.

Blood pressure is expressed by two numbers, a systolic pressure measurement and diastolic pressure measurement . You will see it written as either a fraction, like 120/60 or written as 120 over 60. The systolic measurement always comes first in this instance, its 120.

There are various causes of abnormal blood pressure.

How Does High Blood Pressure Fit Into Your Eye Exam

Learn about Eye Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Even if you havent been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be amazed at what your eye doctor can detect during a regular eye exam, just by taking a trained look at those blood vessels in your eye.

One thing your eye doctor is looking for is whether the blood vessels in your retina have become more stiff and hardened and are pushing on each other. He or she will also look for these symptoms:

  • Hemorrhaging, or leaking, of the blood vessels
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels
  • Spots on the retina
  • Swelling of the optic nerve
  • Swelling of the macula

This is one reason an eye exam is such a vital part of your health care: Rather than just another pair of eyeballs, your eye doctor actually sees you for the entire picture of your health.

Beyond refreshing your glasses or contacts prescription, an eye exam allows your eye doctor to check for visual symptoms of major impending health issues including heart attack and stroke that may not otherwise reveal themselves for decades.

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Medications That Can Cause High Blood Pressure Webmd

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What Is Systole In Blood Pressure

Systole is the heart muscle contraction, during which the heart pumps blood out of the chambers. In terms of blood pressure, systole is the highest number in a blood pressure reading, which measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart is contracting and pumping blood. This is also known as the peak blood pressure.

The systolic pressure is the first value recorded in a blood pressure reading. The systolic pressure is 120, with a blood pressure of 120/80. 120 refers to 120 mm Hg .

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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.

What Is Intraocular Eye Pressure

How does blood pressure affect my eyes? DRMC HD

If youve ever told your doctor, I have pressure in my eyes, then you may be at risk for developing high eye pressure, which is otherwise known as intraocular eye pressure. Elevated eye pressure is a cause for concern because it is a risk factor for glaucoma. Studies show that lowering your intraocular eye pressure can help preserve your vision. For this reason, your eye doctor may want to do an eye test right away to determine your eye pressure causes.

Intraocular eye pressure refers to the sensation of pressure behind eyeballs. It may occur as a pressure behind left eye or a pressure behind right eye. Although the criteria for high eye pressure have changed over the years, here are some factors that remain consistent with signs of high eye pressure:

  • A pressure that measures 21 mm Hg or more in one or both eyes during one of your doctor visits
  • Your side vision appears to be normal
  • There are no signs of glaucoma yet
  • Your drainage system or angle is open, narrow, or closed
  • There are no other signs of ocular disease present

Intraocular eye pressure is not considered a disease itself. If you have a pressure behind eye, your doctor may watch you more closely to determine whether or not youll get glaucoma. He or she may do an eye exam to determine if you have a damaged optic nerve, which is often an indication of glaucoma.

Image source: https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/hypertension.htm

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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.

Prednisone And Low Blood Pressure

If you are being weaned off of prednisone and are taking medications to help lower your blood pressure, be sure to discuss the effect the changes in prednisone could have on your blood pressure and monitor for the symptoms of low blood pressure.

Symptoms of low blood pressure can include:

  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded

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Staying On Top Of Your Eye Health And Your Heart Health

Thankfully, most cases of high blood pressure can be treated by a variety of methods that vary from changes in diet and exercise to medication, depending upon the patient. Early detection is crucial to ensure that eye pressure and high blood pressure can be managed before you are at increased risk for the most serious complications. Undergoing regular eye exams with your eye doctor is not only important for your long-term eye health, but its also one of the best things you can do to mitigate risk factors and prevent heart disease.

Contact Florida Eye Specialists today to schedule an appointment at one of our seven locations serving the Jacksonville area. Our ophthalmologists will examine your eyes for signs of hypertension and help you discover if you need to seek treatment for high blood pressure.

When To See A Doctor

Hypertensive retinopathy

You should see a doctor for red eyes if you have any related pain or loss of vision. The treatment your doctor gives will depend on the cause of the problem.

“It’s important to think of red eyes not as a diagnosis but rather as a symptom of some other problem,” Dr. Ansari says. Although subconjunctival hemorrhages are not usually serious, you should talk to your eye doctor if you get them a lot, the AAO recommends.

Most of the time, redness can be easily treated with over-the-counter drops like artificial tears, or antihistamine drops if the cause is allergies. One treatment that Dr. Ansari does not recommend is the use of common over-the-counter “red eye” treatment drops such as tetrahydrozoline ophthalmic, saying they may contain chemicals that can worsen dry or irritated eyes.

He says, though, that an over-the-counter medication called brimonidine tartrate can help get rid of redness in the eyes quickly and effectively. However, it’s always recommended to discuss any drop use with your eye doctor before starting treatment, Dr. Ansari advises.

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Eye Effects Of High Blood Pressure

Even if you dont have diabetes, high blood pressure can harm your eyes by damaging blood vessels in your retinas. Because your retinas allow you to focus on images, that damage can fuel vision problems associated with diabetic eye disease.

When you have diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar levels, these risks are even higher given that excess glucose in your bloodstream can also damage blood vessels. For these reasons, high blood pressure is a risk factor for diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic Eye Disease 101

Also known as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic eye disease develops when blood vessels in your eyes get damaged due to uncontrolled blood sugar. If it goes untreated, it can gradually lead to total blindness.

Diabetic eye disease symptoms may include:

  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Floating strings in your vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired vision

Many people experience these symptoms in both eyes, although symptoms usually dont become apparent early on.

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Does Rubbing Your Eyes Lower Blood Pressure

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Can Hypertensive Retinopathy Be Prevented

1 Minute Eye Care: High Blood Pressure

To prevent hypertensive retinopathy, keep your blood pressure under control by reaching and maintaining your optimal weight, sticking with a diet recommended by your physician, exercising regularly, and faithfully taking your high blood pressure medications as prescribed. In addition, see your doctor on a regular basis for follow-up care.

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What Is Hypertensive Retinopathy Fundoscopy

A fundoscopy is an eye examination where an ophthalmologist or doctor uses an ophthalmoscope or slit-lamp microscope to visualise the back of the eye. The retina, optic nerve and blood vessels become visible .

Fundus photography can help diagnose hypertensive retinopathy or other medical conditions that affect the vascular system, like diabetes and endocarditis . Your doctor may also use other diagnostic ophthalmology tests called fundus fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography angiography .

Eyes Help Predict High Blood Pressure

Blood Vessels in Eyes May Indicate Future High Blood Pressure

Aug. 9, 2004 — Want to know if you’re likely to develop high blood pressure? The answer may lie in your eyes.

Color, size, and shape don’t matter. Nor does quality of eyesight.

Instead, it’s tiny blood vessels, called retinal arterioles, that count. The vessels, found in the retina, can be photographed with special cameras.

The slightest changes in the vessels can indicate who’s going to develop high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, within five years.

The finding is based on the Blue Mountains Eye study of more than 3,600 people living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia. All were at least 49 years old.

Researchers started by interviewing participants, taking their blood pressure, and photographing their retinas. Normal or high-normal blood pressure was recorded in 1,032 people, while 950 had mild high blood pressure and 1,645 had severe high blood pressure.

Five years later, those with normal to mild high blood pressure were invited back for follow-up tests. Of the 1,319 who showed up, 390 had developed severe high blood pressure. That’s almost 30% of the group.

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What Eye Conditions Are Caused By High Blood Pressure

A number of eye conditions can be caused by high blood pressure, and some of these can have particularly devastating long-term effects on your vision. Hypertensive retinopathy involves damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye. When these blood vessels become damaged, they can cause bleeding in the eye eventually leading to blurry vision and, in severe cases, total loss of vision. There might also be spots on the retina, macular swelling, or narrowing blood vessels preventing blood flow from reaching the retina.

Glaucoma is one of the most commonly-associated eye conditions with blood pressure. In patients with glaucoma, fluid builds up in the front of the eye, in turn leading to an increase in eye pressure. Over time, this can begin to damage the optic nerve and slowly affect peripheral vision. In serious cases, and if its left untreated, glaucoma can lead to total blindness. You can read more about glaucoma on our blog to discover the warning signs and what steps you can take to minimise your chances of developing it.

High blood pressure can also cause fluid to build up under your retina in a condition called choroidopathy. This increase in fluid where it shouldnt be leads to distorted, blurry vision and even scarring inside the eye.


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