High Blood Pressure and Eye Floaters

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high blood pressure eye floaters

High blood pressure can damage the retina in the back of the eye, leading to blurry or floater vision and other visual disturbances. Over time, its symptoms will worsen without treatment.

If you experience sudden floaters, flashes of light or an opaque veil over your eyes, seek medical attention immediately – this condition is known as hypertensive retinopathy and will need urgent ophthalmological evaluation.

Causes

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known to have serious implications on both heart and blood vessel health, but many don’t realize its effect on eyes as well. High blood pressure may cause symptoms like blurred vision and floaters (tiny specks that float across vision). High blood pressure damage to retina is known as hypertensive retinopathy.

Floaters occur when the vitreous body, which contains jelly-like material inside of your eye, gradually changes with age, becoming liquid-like and shrinking, leaving small clumps that cast shadows onto the retina of your eye, creating shadowy dots, circles, lines or cobweb-shaped spots which become known as floaters. They may appear alone or alongside symptoms like light flashes that indicate retinal detachments that require prompt medical care – this can result in flashes being seen by your physician as well.

Bleeding into the vitreous can also result in floaters. This may occur when the vitreous shrinks and pulls on the retina causing retinal tears or when fluid leaks behind it causing retinal separation from its back wall of the eye, and results in permanent vision loss if untreated timely; such issues may also arise as side effects from cataract surgery, certain eye medications or trauma to the eye.

Other causes of floaters include inflammation, eye surgeries and certain medications such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They may also occur as side effects from certain surgeries like cataract removal or YAG laser surgery for macular degeneration treatment. Finally, floaters may occur due to infection in the eye or crystal-like deposits forming within vitreous fluid.

Diabetes and high blood pressure can contribute to the formation of eye floaters by leading to bleeding into the vitreous or blockages of blood vessels in the eye that result in floaters. One common source is central retinal vein occlusion which occurs when high blood pressure damages walls of main vein in retina which provides light sensitive nerve layer at back of eye.

Symptoms

Floaters are small clumps or strands that appear to float around in your field of vision, appearing like black or gray specks, strings, cobwebs or wavy lines that seem to move when you move your eyes or focus on solid backgrounds with light lighting. While they may look alarming at first, floaters usually are not indicative of any serious eye condition but simply result from changes as we age: as the clear gelatinous substance (vitreous) inside thickens and shrinks over time leaving clumps or strands of collagen protein to form that cast tiny shadows onto retina, light sensitive nerve layer at back of eye.

High blood pressure may contribute to changes in the vitreous that result in floaters, known as hypertensive retinopathy. This condition occurs when high blood pressure damages delicate blood vessels in the retina – the thin layer of tissue at the back of your eye – causing narrowing, bleeding and scarring which distort vision and could even result in complete loss.

If you have high blood pressure, it is vital to follow your physician’s advice for managing it effectively in order to minimize risk factors associated with high blood pressure such as symptoms or eye conditions that arise due to it. Doing this may reduce symptoms as well as associated eye conditions that arise as a result.

Some patients with hypertensive retinopathy may notice that their floaters worsen over time or appear with flashes of light, signaling macular hemorrhage – when blood vessels in the retina bleed and obscure part of your vision by creating a veil across it – more common among people living with diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you notice sudden, unexplained floaters in one eye, visit your physician immediately. A dilated exam may reveal areas of whitening on the retina that indicate poor blood flow to it – this could indicate poor circulation to it and require immediate medical treatment to prevent blindness.

Diagnosis

Your field of vision may contain floating clouds, squiggles or cobwebs which move around randomly. They’re actually caused by tiny bits of gel or cells floating within the clear jelly-like fluid (vitreous humour) which fills most of your eyeball. As we age, this gel thickens and thins out, leading to cells to gather together into clumps that appear as images that “float” before our eyes. Most often floaters don’t cause serious issues unless they become severe enough to affect vision loss. However, if your number of floaters suddenly increases along with flashes of light or an opaque veil or curtain in your vision, you should contact your doctor immediately as this could indicate retinal tear/detachment which requires prompt treatment.

High blood pressure damages the delicate blood vessels in your retina over time, eventually resulting in narrowed or bleeding blood vessels, leading to symptoms like blurred vision and floaters that become permanent damage and could potentially even blindness if left untreated.

Your eye doctor will conduct an eye examination to rule out retinal tears or detachments as the source of your floaters, including looking for any shadow left by retinal tears on the back of your eye when moving them up and down or side to side. A test called fluorescein angiogram can also help your doctor detect areas of bleeding to identify their source.

Your eye specialist can also check for other causes of your floaters, including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a genetic connective tissue disease which causes the blood vessels in your eyes to become more elastic, leading to bleeding into the clear jelly (vitreous humor) that makes up most of your eyeball.

Floaters may also be an indicator of an infection within the eye. A dilated fundus examination can detect cells and haze in vitreous humour; blood tests and culture may help your doctor ascertain the source of your illness.

Treatment

High blood pressure is an increasingly prevalent health concern that affects more than just the cardiovascular system; it also has devastating repercussions for eyes. Particularly sensitive are retinal blood vessels which swell and bleed with changes in blood pressure; when these blood vessels swell or rupture due to high pressure levels, floaters may form on your retinas.

Floaters are small specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs that appear to float in your field of vision. They’re caused by clumps of gel or cells inside your eye shifting as you look at different objects; eventually these floaters should fade with time; but if their presence increases suddenly with flashes of light as well, seek medical assistance immediately as this could indicate retinal detachment or something worse.

Rarely, high blood pressure can result in eye floaters caused by abnormal expansion of blood vessels on the retina’s surface. These growths, called pingueculae or pterygia, are treatable using glasses or contact lenses.

High blood pressure can result in vitreous haemorrhage, whereby bleeding occurs within the clear jelly-like substance that fills most of your eye (the vitreous humour). This usually happens when there is a tiny area of bleeding within the retina that results in severe floaters accompanied by flashes of light.

Vitreous haemorrhages usually resolve themselves within weeks or months, but in rare instances you may observe persistent floaters for longer. In such instances, it is imperative to seek medical assistance immediately as these floaters could cover your retina, leading to total blindness if they cover all retinal cells.

If you have high blood pressure and are experiencing floaters, speak to an ophthalmologist immediately. Controlling it through lifestyle modifications and medication as necessary may reduce risk factors for such symptoms; regular eye exams will allow eye doctors to check for damage that might be the source of any floaters.

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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