The effect of hypertension on the eye has been overlooked over the years, both by eye care practitioners and even the person suffering from one degree of hypertension to another. Hence a critical need to highlight the major effect of hypertension to the eye is of paramount importance. And I do sincerely hope that after this review,the need for routine eye examination of adult and people at risk for hypertension related eye disease will no longer be over emphasized. Blood pressure is defined as the amount of force exerted on the walls of the arteries by blood,as the are pumped throughout the body.
Blood pressure is mathematically defined as=CO X TPR, where
CO=Cardiac output(the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute
TPR=Total peripheral resistance to blood flow
WHAT IS HYPERTENSION AND HYPERTENSIVE RETINOPATHY
According to the world health organisation defined hypertension as a persistent increase in blood pressure of greater or equal to 140mmhg for systolic and greater or equal to 90mmhg for diastolic pressure.Take a very close look at the definition,you will observe that one word stands out there, which is ‘PERSISTENCE INCREASE”. And hypertensive retinopathy can be defined as the sequalae of event that occurs in the retinal, as a result of uncontrolled persistently high blood pressure.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR HYPERTENSIVE RETINOPATHY
The risk factors for one to develop hypertensive retinopathy include but not limited to the following
- Prlonged high blood pressure
- Heart diseases
- Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis
- High cholesterol level
- Unhealthy diest
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HYPERTENSIVE RETINOPATHY
Reduced vision/cloudy vision
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF HYPERTENSIVE RETINOPATHY
The complications of hypertensive retinopathy include, viterous hemorrhage, macula edema, retinal detatchment and susequent loss of vision.
CAN HYPERTENSIVE RETINOPATHY BE TREATED
Hypertensive retinopathy just like the hypertension itself cannot be completely treated, the aim here is to control blood pressure to the minimum, to ensure the condition does not progress to the more severe stage, so early diagnoses is the key to managing this condition properly.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE NOT SURE OF YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE STATUS
If you do not know the actual state of your blood pressure or you know, but do not know its relationship with your eyes, you must visit your eye doctor to asses you eyes adequately to rule out any visual complication associated with hypertension and subsequently profer treatment plan,IF diagnosed, in other to keep your vision in tact.
We at AFRICA EYE LASER CENTRE, BENIN-CITY, NIGERIA, are well equipped in the diagnosis and management of visual complications caused by hypertension or uncontrolled blood pressure.