If you have severe or uncontrolled hypertension, you’re at risk of developing hypertensive retinopathy. The expert ophthalmologists at Retina Specialists in Dallas, DeSoto, Plano, Mesquite, and Waxahachie, Texas, diagnose hypertensive retinopathy and provide state-of-the-art treatments to protect your vision and eye health. Call your nearest office or make an appointment online today for expert eye care.
Hypertensive retinopathy is a retinal condition that occurs when unmanaged high blood pressure damages the blood vessels in your eyes.
Hypertension can make your blood vessels, including the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, thicken and become narrow. When your blood vessels are tight, it reduces your circulation and can cause swelling in your retina and optic nerve.
Additionally, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your retina, which leads to reduced retinal function and pressure on the optic nerve.
As many as a third of Americans have high blood pressure. But because the disease doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, more than half of the people who have the condition don’t know it.
As a result, their blood pressure goes untreated and permanent damage is done to their blood vessels and other tissues in their body, including the eyes.
Hypertensive retinopathy doesn’t always cause symptoms in its early stages. However, as your condition worsens, you may notice reduced vision, eye swelling, and double vision with headaches. You may also have a burst blood vessel in your eye.
The ophthalmologists at Retina Specialists examine your retinas during routine comprehensive eye exams.
They look for abnormal blood vessels, signs of damage or scarring, and other indicators of retinal disorders such as hypertensive retinopathy. If they find abnormal blood vessels, they order fluorescein angiography to study the circulation in your eye.
Your ophthalmologist offers customized treatments to address hypertensive retinopathy, including laser treatments and minimally invasive eye surgery to remove abnormal blood vessels and damaged tissue from your eye. They can also prescribe a medicine to reduce the pressure in your eye and prevent abnormal blood vessel growth.
However, you should also take steps to control your blood pressure. Talk to your primary care provider about lifestyle modifications and medication to lower your blood pressure and prevent future damage to your eyes and elsewhere in your body.
If you’re due for an eye exam or have noticed changes in your vision that may be indicative of hypertensive retinopathy, call Retina Specialists or schedule a consultation online today.