For those who have never had an eye exam or who have not had a checkup in a long while, a visit to the eye doctor can be an intimidating experience. Some people put off a visit to the optometrist if there are no known issues with their vision, but even those with excellent eyesight…
Hypertension — Can your blood pressure affect your eyes?
High blood pressure can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop. Healthy arteries are flexible, strong, and elastic. Their inner lining is smooth, so that blood flows easily.
The tiny blood vessels in your eyes are like long skinny balloons: they are tough to blow up. But if you keep blowing these balloons up and letting the air out again repeatedly, the balloons change. They become wrinkled, thin, and bulbous in parts. They are no longer smooth. High blood pressure changes your vessels like this, making beautiful smooth vessels into misshapen tubes with poor circulation.
In an eye exam, the super fine vessels of the retina can be evaluated when the doctor looks into the eye. This is an easy way to determine if the blood vessels in the body are healthy before any of the bad stuff happens.
In addition to visual problems, high blood pressure can cause heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, bone loss, sexual dysfunction, depression, and dementia.
How can you keep your blood pressure lower?
By Sumati Deutscher, O.D.