Hypertension and the Eyes

A large proportion of the world’s adult population is affected by hypertension, and this condition affects the eyes in multiple ways.  Researchers who recently published and article in The Lancet assert that “any patient with hypertension should have an ophthalmological assessment to detect hypertensive retinopathy or other retinal vascular complications.”   Signs of hypertensive retinopathy are frequently seen in adults 40 years and older, and may indicate, independent of traditional risk factors, that one is likely to suffer from congestive heart failure or a stroke.

Blood pressure control has been established as a treatment for diabetic retinopathy, but researchers have yet to determine whether intensive blood-pressure control measures in patients with hypertensive eye diseases would reduce the risk of visual impairment and death. Early detection of hypertension’s effects on the eyes could assist physicians in the overall management of the life threatening aspects of disease.

Source: The Lancet