High Blood Pressure
Why do we ask?
Optometrists care about High Blood Pressure (HBP) for 3 reasons.
Firstly, HBP can cause eye disease. One of these is hypertensive retinopathy, where bleeding occurs in the retina. This can be devastating for vision.
Secondly, when blood pressure is high, it essentially means that blood is rushing past the tissues too quickly to effectively deliver oxygen and nutrients. This can affect the functioning of the tissue.
Thirdly, we can see signs inside your eyes that can indicate whether you’re in a higher risk group to eventually develop HBP. Chemical processes in your blood can cause retinal arterioles (small arteries) to become narrowed over time. These same chemical processes can eventually cause HBP.
If we see these processes occurring in your eyes, we’ll advise you to:
- Have your blood pressure monitored
- Talk to your GP about all the ways you can reduce the risk of developing HBP. These typically include dietary strategies and exercise, gut health strategies, and for some, medication.