The Silent Killer: High Blood Pressure

Nearly half the North American adult population suffers from hypertension. The American Heart Association defines high blood pressure as a consistent rapid force of blood through the blood vessels. Often called “the silent killer,” the disease contributes to heart attacks, stroke and loss of vision. When it comes to the health of a patient’s eyes there are three ways HBP can negatively affect them.

Negative Effects of High Blood Pressure

  1. Swelling to the Macula – The macula is behind the retina of the eye and helps the eyes see detail. When a patient has high blood pressure the macula swells up. If not treated quickly the swelling could lead to permanent vision loss.
  2. Damage to the Blood Vessels – If the veins of the blood vessels are crossed or compressed there is a high possibility of hypertension.
  3. Destroy the Optic Nerves – When the blood vessels are crossed there is a lack of blood flow which can destroy the nerves in your eyes. The optic nerves are the channels to the visual cortex and could lead to vision loss.

How An Eye Exam Can Detect High Blood Pressure

Luckily, there is a way that doctors can detect HBP through a comprehensive eye exam here at Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center. With the help of an indirect opthalmoscope and a lens (discussed in detail in the previous article on Diabetes) our optometrists can look at the back of the eye for signs of compression and crossing of the blood vessels. Early detection could lead to the longevity of a patient’s life.

At Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center we help you see your best but we also want you to feel your best. The end of the year is quickly approaching. Don’t delay on your yearly eye exam.

Make an appointment today by calling 815-932-2020.


This article is a part of a series of articles that cover The Top 10 Diseases An Eye Exam Can Diagnose

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