Remind Patients that Hypertension can be Harmful to Their Eyes

Hypertension affects nearly 32 percent of Americans over the age of 20. Since many people don’t realize they have a problem with their blood pressure until they’ve had a cardiac event, hypertension is often known as the “silent killer.” As an eye health specialist, it is possible to detect signs of hypertension in your patients. It is also important to remind them that hypertension can be harmful to their eyes.


Hypertension Can Damage Vision

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Since hypertension forces blood under high pressure through the cardiovascular system, it can cause ischemia due to the constriction of the arterioles of the choroid. Over time, the constriction causes damage to the eye which can range from blurred vision to blindness. Although your patients are likely aware of the life threatening or fatal consequences of hypertension, they may not be aware of the damage it can cause to their vision.


A few talking points you may wish to share with your patients during their routine eye exam may include the following:


  • – When asking about medical conditions, you might introduce the concept of how hypertension can affect their vision and why it’s critical to manage it properly.
  • – Explain how increased blood pressure harms the eyes’ tiny vessels, resulting in damage to the perfusion of the retina and lack of oxygen to eye tissue.
  • – Also speak of how nerve cells can die, causing an increased risk for thromboses, which can lead to blurred vision or blindness.


Performing an optomap® exam on your patients during their regular visits can aid you in diagnosing symptoms of hypertension before your patients even realize they’re experiencing a problem. The 200 degree view of the retina and detailed imaging allows you to view eye blood vessels in their natural state and detect early changes to the retina that may save your patients’ vision.


For more information on how to add optomap’s state-of-the-art technology to your practice, please visit the Optos website.