High blood pressure can be very harmful to the body, causing heart and kidney problems among others. If untreated, high blood pressure can also affect your eyesight and lead to eye disease. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back part of the eye. It changes light and images that enter the eye into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it has been high, the more severe the damage is likely to be.

The most common eye disease caused by high blood pressure is known as hypertensive retinopathy.

Other problems with the retina that may occur, include:

Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Damage to the nerves in the eye due to poor blood flow

Retinal Artery Occlusion: Blockage of the blood supply in the arteries to the retina

Retinal Vein Occlusion: Blockage of the veins that carry blood away from the retina

Most people with eye disease from high blood pressure do not have symptoms until late in the disease. Symptoms may include:

  • Double vision, dim vision or vision loss
  • Headaches

During a retinal exam in Medford, your doctor uses an instrument called an ophthalmoscope to check for retinal problems such as narrowing of blood vessels and signs that fluid has leaked from blood vessels.

To treat eye problems caused by high blood pressure, the high blood pressure must be under control. If not treated, permanent damage may result.

To schedule an eye examination in Medford, contact Medical Eye Center at 541-779-4711 or medicaleyecenter.com. If you have high blood pressure and/or experience sudden vision changes or headaches, seek emergency medical help right away.