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
  • Headaches
  • 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:

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.

Deborah Moon, OD

Deborah Moon, OD

Dr. Deborah Moon provides eye health and wellness exams for patients of all ages. She is therapeutically licensed to treat all diseases of the eye, treat eye injury, and specializes in glaucoma treatment, difficult contact lens fitting, and LASIK management. She believes in formulating a customized treatment approach designed for each individual patient depending on the patient's needs and symptoms. As a proponent of the importance of healthy lifestyle and nutrition for good vision and eye health, she coordinates her patients' care with their holistic and medical practitioners to provide the best integrative medicine approach. read more...