High blood pressure (BP) or Hypertension is one of the most important causes of premature death worldwide (WHO). Hypertension is a major public health concern in India. Uncontrolled hypertension where the blood pressure reading exceeds 140mm of Hg (systolic), and 90mm of Hg (diastolic) may lead to several complications like hypertensive encephalopathy, retinopathy or hypertensive nephropathy, etc. that adversely impacts the quality of life of an individual. Most of these complications may be delayed by adopting some lifestyle changes and adhering to them.
In this article, we will be discussing the hypertension complication related to the eye, that is hypertensive retinopathy:
The retina is the innermost layer of the eyeball. The light rays entering the eyes form images on the retina. This tissue converts these images into nerve signals and sends them to the brain. High blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels of the retina. These blood vessels respond to high blood pressure by narrowing (vasoconstriction) or leakage (haemorrhage). The structure of the retina gets destructed resulting in visual disturbances such as decreased vision, vision loss, etc. This condition is referred to as hypertensive retinopathy (HR).