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4 Ways High Blood Pressure Causes Vision Loss and What You Can Do To Prevent It
High blood pressure (HBP) affects over 60 million Americans and is extremely prevalent in males over sixty years old. Genetics as well as lifestyle choices, such as smoking and a poor diet, play a strong role in causing high blood pressure. High blood pressure strains the heart and can impact the rest of your body. One issue that is not addressed frequently is the ways in which high blood pressure affects your vision which is called hypertensive retinopathy.
1.HBP swells the optic nerve and narrows blood vessels
The buildup of pressure in your blood vessels can cause them to bleed and make the optic nerve inflamed. This in turn can drastically affect your vision. Make sure to visit your ophthalmologist regularly for checkups
2.HBP can cause permanent vision damage
The longer your high blood pressure is left untreated the worse the permanent damage can be. As the blood vessels in your eyes begin to narrow the reduced blood flow will damage the retina. This can result in blurred vision and over time possibly blindness.
3.Spots on the Retina
High blood pressure can create tiny white spots known as “cotton wool spots” on your retina seriously impairing your vision. These spots are caused by swelling of the surface layer of the retina. Once your blood pressure is under control, these spots can disappear over time.
4.HBP can lead to a stroke
If high blood pressure is severe and is left untreated it can lead to a stroke. Strokes can damage the optic nerve leading to severe vision problems. Strokes often affect the part of the brain that controls an individual’s visual field. Furthermore, if the damage occurs in the posterior of the brain loss of the visual field can occur in both eyes.
By visiting your doctor for regular checkups and making healthy life decisions you can prevent high blood pressure and thereby protect your eyes and other major organs. Cardiovascular exercise is extremely important for your circulation and will help control your blood pressure. Join a gym; go for a bike ride, whatever works for you as long as it gets you up and moving. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are the next two most important steps you can take to maintain low blood pressure. Smoking hardens the arteries and causes your heart to beat faster increasing your risk for high blood pressure and heart attack. Excessive drinking as well will lead to increased blood pressure. You should therefore keep your drinking to a moderate level. One glass of red wine a day, for example, has been proven to be a heart healthy choice. Healthy wholesome foods provide your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your blood pressure normalized. While you can’t fight genetics, you can make smart choices that will drastically improve your blood pressure and protect your vision.
For more articles on blood pressure and vision click here.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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