Eye health: Full list of eye-related symptoms that could be signalling high blood pressure
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Blood vessels in a person’s retina, the layer of tissue at the back part of the eye, may be damaged due to untreated high blood pressure. Damage to the retina from high blood pressure is known as hypertensive retinopathy. There are a number of warning signs found in the eyes indicating your blood pressure levels are becoming dangerously high.
Hypertensive retinopathy is a possible complication of high blood pressure (hypertension).
Persistent, untreated high blood pressure can cause damage to the retina, the tissues at the back of the eye responsible for receiving the images we need to see.
The condition can lead to symptoms including double or dim vision, loss of vision and headaches.
A study published in the National Library of Health looked at hypertensive retinopathy’s effect on eye health.
“Poorly controlled hypertension affects several systems such as the cardiovascular, renal, cerebrovascular, and retina,” noted the study.
It added: “The damage to these systems is known as target-organ damage.
“Poorly controlled hypertension affects the eye causing three types of ocular damage including choroidopathy, retinopathy, and optic neuropathy.”
Choroidopathy is a disease that causes fluid to build up under the retina.
This is the back part of the inner eye that sends sight information to the brain.
The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina.
Symptoms of choroidopathy include dim and blurred blind spots in the centre of vision, distortion of straight lines with the affected eye, or objects appearing smaller or farther away with the affected eye.
Retinopathy means disease of the retina.
“There are several types of retinopathy but all involve disease of the small retinal blood vessels,” noted Jama Network.
The study added: “Signs of retinopathy can be seen when the retina is viewed through the pupil with an ophthalmoscope.”
Optic neuropathy is a catch-all term that refers to damage inflicted on the optic nerve in your eye.
This is the nerve in the back of the eyeball that transfers visual information from your eye to the brain, allowing you to see.
This condition is one that gets worse over time, when not treated.
Symptoms of optic neuropathy include seeing flashing or flickering lights when moving the eyes, colours which may appear less bold or vivid than they normally do, loss of vision or pain in the face and eye socket.
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