What is Hypertensive Retinopathy?
During an eye exam, your eye doctor is able to see the smallest capillaries (blood vessels) which are in the retina of the eye. This is the only part of the body where these tiny capillaries can be visualized without cutting into the body. The health of these blood vessels in your retina gives a very strong indicator for the health of the rest of your body. This is one reason your primary care doctor also recommends an annual eye exam. Hypertensive retinopathy is when high blood pressure affects the eyes. The risk of developing hypertensive retinopathy increases the longer you have had high blood pressure and increases if your hypertension is uncontrolled. Hypertensive retinopathy ranges from mild changes in the shape of the blood vessels of the eye to severe bleeding, and vision loss. If you have diabetes it is best to get your eyes checked with a dilated comprehensive eye exam yearly to monitor and manage any changes caused by diabetes. At Azar Eye Clinic, we will notify your primary care physician (PCP) of any problems we see and we will work to keep your PCP informed regarding your eye health.