Hypertension and your eyes

You may be not be able to detect any outward signs of hypertension yourself, but your doctor can look into your eyes and see whether hypertension has damaged them.

A brief period of very high blood pressure can cause some loss of visual clarity, which generally subsides once the blood pressure level returns to normal. How does it happen?

Hypertension can damage the eyes in a number of ways:

  • It leads to narrowing of the arteries and can result in complete blockage, which can cause loss of vision.
  • It can also lead to damage to the blood vessels in the outside of the eyes, leading to bleeding. This usually clears up once the hypertension itself is treated.

So while the eye isn’t affected as badly as say, the brain or the heart, it can give useful clues into the state of your health. Your doctor may be able to draw important conclusions about whether you have hypertension simply by looking into your eyes.


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