High blood pressure or hypertension makes many changes in blood vessels of the whole body. Same changes of blood vessels occur in the blood vessels of the eye. Blood vessels of eye are different from other vessels. Eye is very sensitive organ; hypertension effects eye in many ways. It may cause retinal vascular diseases for instance ischaemic optic neuropathy and retinal vein and artery occlusion. It also increases the risk for diabetic retinopathy. Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) and vitreous hemorrhage and macroaneurysms also results in hypertension. A link has been found between hypertension and glaucoma and other macular degeneration related to age. It is safe to assume that there is a direct link between eye disorders and high blood pressure.
When hypertension starts interfering with eye, eye usually does not show immediate symptoms. When the sufferer came to know about the disorder the membrane of retina on both sides of the eyeball is damaged. One of the obvious earlier symptoms is difficulty in vision.
Optometrists can easily diagnose the problem of eye that occurs due to hypertension. Some times they observe cotton wool spots on the optical nerve at the place where it joins retina. The spots appear like white fluffy lesions around the retinal nerve. This symptom shows acute sort of problem with eye. It took 2 to 3 weeks to spots to fade away after the control of blood pressure. Cotton wool spots appear due to individual blockage of blood vessels.
Some times optometrists observe round small dark-red dots. These dots appear when the pressure of blood becomes too high in the eye capillaries. Capillaries become weaker due to sustained high blood pressure. This condition is known as microaneurysms in medical.
Along with the appearance of cotton wool spots and “small round dark-red dots” another damage to eye due to hypertension is the formation of exudates. Exudates are small bits of fats, waste lipids and proteins which are residue of destroyed tissues. They are commonly attached to microaneuryms. Exudates may even occur on macula or on the parts of the eye which are near to retina. Such situation may lead to vision lost.
A retinal hemorrhage, caused by hypertension, is another acute disorder of the eye. High blood pressure causes bleeding in the eyeball. Thus the hemorrhages may form different shapes for instance they may appear flame shaped. They are treated with lasers.
High blood pressure directly effects eye in number of ways. There is only one highly effective way to treat it and that is to control the blood pressure adequately. Controlling blood pressure not only treats the hypertensive eye disorders but it also helps in preventing the disorders. Blood pressure can be controlled by taking the most appropriate diet and having adequate exercise. Using blood pressure medicines on time as prescribed by medications is also very necessary. Further add up suggestion to manage blood pressure is to visit your doctor regularly for follow up care.