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HomePaul L. Foster School of MedicineDepartment Of Ophthalmology

Department of Ophthamology

Hypertensive Retinopathy

High blood pressure can cause detrimental changes to every part of your body, and the eyes are particularly vulnerable.

High blood pressure causes permanent changes to blood vessels in the back of the eye(retina). This is called hypertensive retinopathy. It changes the way that arteries and veins communicate and hardens the blood vessels. This weakens the vessels and cause them to leak and bleed. Hypertensive retinopathy can scar the retina, decrease vision, and even cause blindness.

Many people are unaware they have hypertensive retinopathy. Most people with hypertensive retinopathy can still see well and have no symptoms. Lack of early diagnosis can allow the disease to progress and may lead to blindness. If you have high blood pressure, see your eye doctor yearly for a dilated eye exam.

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