Hypertension is the cause of many health concerns. It can also damage the blood vessels in your eyes, leading to an eye disease known as hypertensive retinopathy. If you allow high blood pressure to go untreated, it can lead to serious problems with your eyes.
Symptoms of Hypertensive Retinopathy
There are a few symptoms that can alert you to the disease and should be brought up to your doctor. These include:
- Double vision
- A sudden loss of vision
- Dimmer vision
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you need to be seen right away. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent eye damage. Not only that, this disease is usually preceded by other serious health concerns like stroke, congestive heart failure, and other conditions. (1)
How This Eye Disease is Diagnosed
Hypertensive retinopathy is diagnosed by looking at the blood vessels in the eye. If those vessels have become more narrow or there are signs of leaking fluid, a diagnosis will be given. There are 4 stages of the disease. These include:
- Grade 1: barely detectable narrowing arteries.
- Grade 2: narrowing arteries are detected and you experience visual disruptions.
- Grade 3: many changes in the blood vessels including swelling and leaking.
- Grade 4: the optic nerve is swelling along with the center of the retina. Vision can be lost at this stage.
Hypertension may Lead to Other Eye Disorders
High blood pressure can lead to other eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal artery, or vein occlusion. When combined with other factors such as smoking or diabetes, it can lead to vision loss.
Treatment of Hypertensive Retinopathy
Ultimately, to treat hypertensive retinopathy, you have to get your blood pressure under control. In cases of a Grade 1-3 diagnosis, the retina will recover when the BP is controlled. However, patients diagnosed with a grade 4 can suffer permanent damage to the retina.
If you are a person that suffers from high blood pressure, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have a loss of vision.
Natural Ways to Treat Hypertension
Many patients look for natural ways to reduce their high blood pressure without medications. There are many ways to naturally lower hypertension including:
- Proper hydration
- Regular exercise
- Reduction of sodium
- Limit alcohol
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Manage stress
- Quit Smoking
- Cut out refined carbs and sugars
- Drink beetroot juice daily
- Attend regular Reiki sessions
- Increase foods rich in magnesium
- Regular chiropractic care
When you combine these natural methods, you can often times get your blood pressure under control. This is the only way to treat hypertensive retinal disease.
(1) J Hum Hypertens. 2012 Feb;26(2):71-83. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2011.37. Epub 2011 Apr 21.