Hypertension, i.e, high blood pressure can be detrimental to health in various ways. But did you know that chronic high blood pressure can also lead to a serious eye condition called hypertensive retinopathy? This condition refers to damage to the blood vessels in your retina because of the stress that chronic high blood pressure consistently puts on the body. High pressure of blood moving through the blood vessels leads to the thickening of these vessels. As a result, the pathway for the blood traversing through these vessels to various vital organs of the body also gets narrowed down. The blood vessels leading to your eyes, including its very important part retina, are not excluded from this severe effect of hypertension.

Remember that blood is responsible for carrying many nutrients and oxygen too to your organs that they need to function well. Reduced blood flow to the organs would mean reduced flow of nutrients and oxygen as well. In case of your eye, this would eventually cause damage to the functioning of retina and can lead to problems with vision.

Hypertensive retinopathy usually doesn’t show any signs or symptoms in the early stages, it’s only when the condition progresses that the patient starts to experience noticeable symptoms. Some of these signs and symptoms could be as follows:

  • Vision is dimmer or reduced than usual. Patient may also experience double vision, or some other type of disturbances with the vision.

  • There could be headaches along with the vision problems.

  • Swelling in the eye.

If you do suffer from chronic high blood pressure and start experiencing sudden problems with your vision and eye, it’s important that you get help immediately to prevent the condition from getting any worse.

It’s easy to pinpoint the key culprit of hypertensive retinopathy condition, blood pressure that’s chronically high. So it makes sense to try and get your blood pressure under control as much as possible. There may be several reasons responsible for the elevation of blood pressure, such as increased body weight, sedentary lifestyle, stressful lifestyle, consuming excess salt, etc. By making committed changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure regulated within acceptable range.

Understand the body weight that’s optimal for your health and do your best to achieve and maintain this weight. Minimize your intake of processed foods as well as excessively salty and sugary foods. Switch to healthy, whole foods that are actually nutritious for your body. Take some time out of your everyday routine for physical exercise. Exercising regularly is important for overall health maintenance, and it certainly can do wonders in bringing down your blood pressure. Include foods rich in potassium in your diet, like bananas, leafy green vegetables, nuts, etc.

Being aware of the problem is how you can understand the best ways in which you can manage it. Protect yourself from hypertensive retinopathy by managing your problems with hypertension through positive diet and lifestyle changes.

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