High Blood Pressure, it could be all in the eyes?
In this article we're going to take a look at one of the slightly unexpected ways that you can be diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, what it can do to you if you ignore it and one of the things that you can do about it?
Well why don’t we kick off with the cheerful bit first? Basically if left untreated and ignored it will kill you? How about that for starters?
“OK Steve”, I hear you cry, “hit me with the cheerful stuff and don’t hold anything back!”
High blood Pressure is difficult to spot in the traditional sense of things and the warning signs are very difficult if nigh on impossible for the lay person to identify.
You can be diagnosed in number of ways and you would be surprised how and when you can pick up a diagnosis of High Blood Pressure.
This is not meant to act as an attempt to instil wholesale panic amongst folks. Take yesterday afternoon for example.
I had a routine examination at my opticians for a repeat prescription and to check out my eyes for reading glasses. It was the usual drill for someone in their forties. Basically as a friend of mine had cheerfully pointed out a few years back it wasn’t a case of my eyes being faulty it was more of a case of my arms not being long enough when I wanted to be able to read a book comfortably!
So, back to the Opticians. There I was resting my chin on the support for this new fangled piece of technology that they now use to check out your eyes and going through the initial process when the Optician turned to me and said “OK now I am gong to shoot a few jets of some gasses into your eyes”.
“OK” I thought, “here goes, this should be interesting.”
Anyway a few puffs of gas later – a very painless experience I must add and the Optician turned to me and said “Did you know you have slightly raised Blood Pressure? How long have you been suffering from it and when was the last time you saw your Doctor?”
“Ah, should have told you about that before” I said, “Yes I do suffer from High Blood Pressure and this is the medication I am on.” I proceeded to go through my prescription and she, very professionally took down copious notes. “Does this sort of thing happen often?”
“You would be surprised by how often it does” came the reply. “When we do our first check on anew patient (or one that hasn’t been to us for some time), the first thing we do is check the blood pressure in the eyes. Left untreated it can eventually lead to blindness. Quite often people don’t realise that a visit to their optician can be the first line in the defence against High Blood Pressure as a condition”
“Now I see” I thought (pardon the pun) – two reasons to go and have your eyes checked regularly. Even if you think you have 20/20 vision (and especially if you work with Computer screens and Monitors on a daily basis). An eye examination can pick up treatable conditions and deal with them as well as providing an opportunity to spot subtle changes that can be the forerunners of much more dangerous conditions such as High Blood Pressure.
About the Author: Stephen Morgan is Senior Editor for
Living with High Blood
Pressure and also its sister site
Living with Stress. Further information on the above article can be found at