Hypertensive Retinopathy


High Blood Pressure and your Eyes

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can affect your eyesight and lead to Hypertensive Retinopathy.  Hypertension causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina and it can be serious if the blood pressure is not treated.

What Are the Symptoms of Hypertensive Retinopathy?

In the early stages of hypertensive retinopathy, a person typically won’t experience any symptoms.  But in more advanced cases, symptoms may include headaches, blurry or loss of vision and double vision.  

How Is Hypertensive Retinopathy Diagnosed?

An eye doctor can diagnose hypertensive retinopathy during a routing eye exam. Signs of retinopathy include:

  • Narrowing of the blood vessels and changes in the blood vessel crossing pattern
  • Fluid leaking from the blood vessels causing bleeding in the back of the eye
  • White spots on the retina
  • Swelling of the macula and optic nerve

How is this Condition Treated?

In order to treat or prevent hypertensive retinopathy, keep your blood pressure under control.  This can be done by managing your diet, exercising more, and taking your blood pressure medications as prescribed. In addition, see your family doctor and your optometrist on a regular basis for follow-up care.