High Blood Pressure and Eye Floaters

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high blood pressure eye floaters

High blood pressure can significantly impact your eyes and vision. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to hypertensive retinopathy; having regular eye exams can detect damage and help keep it under control.

Floaters are small clumps of gel or cells that form within the transparent jelly-like fluid called vitreous humour that fills your eye, often appearing as dots, circles, lines or cobwebs.

Causes

High blood pressure (hypertension) increases the risk of damage to retina, the thin layer that lines the back wall of the eye, known as hypertensive retinopathy. This damage, also known as blind spot necrosis, may lead to various eye conditions which cause visual symptoms such as floaters or blurry vision; left untreated for extended periods, this damage may become even more severe; additionally, high blood pressure damages the tiny blood vessels inside of eyes which in turn cause more floaters.

Floaters are caused by changes to the jelly-like substance in your eye (vitreous). Vitreous floaters can be microscopic collagen fibres clumped together and casting shadows onto the retina, creating spots or specks in your vision that look like dust, cobwebs, strings or wavy lines that float across your vision when moving your eyes around or suddenly appear when not looking directly at them; usually they go away when stopped staring directly at them; though occasionally they become annoying enough prompting visits to see your doctor.

Blood vessel leaks in the vitreous, retinal tears or detachments, and posterior vitreous detachment are other potential sources of floaters in your vision. Bleeding can result from diabetes, high blood pressure, blocked vessels or injury; when blood enters your vitreous it appears as floating mass of specks or strings floating through your vision. Retinal tears also play a part in this problem and could potentially lead to detachments if left untreated resulting in blind spots within your vision.

If you notice numerous new floaters that come with sudden vision loss or flashes of light, these could be signs of retinal tears or detachments which need urgent medical treatment to avoid permanent vision loss.

Your doctor will conduct an eye exam using a special mirror that allows them to examine the back of your eye, looking out for retinal tears or detachments as well as symptoms such as inflammation and cloudiness in vitreous gel. Blood tests and cultures may be needed in order to accurately pinpoint its underlying cause.

Symptoms

Glaucoma occurs when internal eye pressure builds up too rapidly, damaging the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain and leading to vision loss. Unfortunately, it often goes undetected without early symptoms, making diagnosis challenging; but regular check-ins with your eye doctor will enable them to monitor and treat increased eye pressure before permanent damage takes place.

High blood pressure may cause the retina’s blood vessels to narrow, bleed, or leak and lead to eye floaters that appear as tiny spots or lines that appear to float in front of your eye. They might look like black or gray specks, strings, cobwebs, dust particles or wavy lines and usually become most noticeable against a plain or dark background. Most often harmless and gradually diminish over time without focussing too closely on them – though sometimes more drastic measures may be needed to get rid of them

Bleeding within the vitreous (the clear jelly-like substance found at the center of your eye) may also contribute to floaters. This condition often arises among individuals living with diabetes or high blood pressure, or after having undergone retinal detachment or tear. Under normal circumstances, vitreous is free of blood cells but if contracting vitreous tugs on retina and causes tears to tear apart fluid can leak behind retinal detachment potentially leading to permanent blindness.

Most people with PVD become accustomed to their floaters over time and can often ignore them. But in cases of larger or center visual field floaters that interfere with vision, immediate referral for dilated eye examination and assessment by retina specialist should occur in order to rule out potential retinal tears or hemorrhages.

A 40-year-old with mildly elevated BP presented to an emergency room complaining of sudden floaters, blurred vision, and what felt like a curtain over his left eye. He had a family history of high blood pressure and took baby aspirin daily. A dilated eye exam revealed scattered clusters of microscopic collagen fibers within vitreous gel that created shadows on retina that manifested themselves as “floaters”, assuring him it was an ordinary process and required him to visit a retinal specialist within two weeks for review.

Diagnosis

Patients suffering from hypertensive retinopathy can be quickly identified by their eye doctor using a straightforward dilated exam. During this test, their physician can examine the inside of their eye for narrowed blood vessels, retinal hemorrhages or areas that indicate poor blood flow such as whitening spots that indicate lack of supply to certain areas.

Untreated abnormal fragile blood vessels can burst, leading to bleeding into the clear jelly (vitreous humour) of your eye. When this happens you may suddenly see many black dots, blobs, or cobwebs appear suddenly in your vision – sometimes with reddish tint. Most bleeds clear by themselves over weeks or months but severe ones can result in permanent loss of vision as light cannot pass through to reach the retina.

An urgent situation requires seeing a physician immediately upon experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially if hypertension is the source of bleeding. Should this be diagnosed as being due to an issue with blood pressure management, treatment would then begin and the individual would be monitored by an ophthalmologist regularly for follow up care.

Treatment

Many people will occasionally notice “floaters” in their field of vision. These tiny clumps of gel or cells floating within the vitreous, which is a clear jelly-like substance inside our eyeballs, may become visible as shadows that appear on our retina, often taking on forms like dots, circles, lines, clouds or cobwebs. Although considered normal and may become more apparent as we get older, floaters usually fade over time or can even be moved out of sight by moving eyes around.

If floaters are accompanied by flashes of light, this could indicate more serious underlying issues – potentially retinal tears and detachments that require immediate medical intervention from an eye specialist.

Blood pressure levels can have a considerable effect on retina health, so it is vitally important that they are managed through lifestyle adjustments or medication where necessary. Regular eye exams are also useful in detecting early signs of damage and managing this condition effectively.

High blood pressure can cause the delicate new blood vessels that form on the retina to contract and restrict their blood supply or even bleed, leading to hypertensive retinopathy – a condition associated with high blood pressure that may result in vision loss.

Sometimes blood vessels in the retina bleed into the vitreous, which is the clear jelly-like substance in the centre of your eye. This condition, known as vitreous haemorrhage, can be very distressful to patients as they see black dots or blobs appear in their vision. Reabsorbing bleeding from retina may take weeks or months.

If the floaters do not accompany flashes of light, they can often be resolved by moving your eyes from side to side to move the floaters out of view. However, if they occur alongside flashes of light or a veil covering vision then these should be treated as emergency cases and taken straight to an eye hospital immediately.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.

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