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September 11, 2006

How Having High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Eyesight

You May Be Able to Blame Your High Blood Pressure for Your Bad Eyesight

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is widely known as a major contributing factor to heart disease. However, heart disease isn’t the only problem high blood pressure can cause. In fact, one of the most valuable senses you have at your disposal can be put at significant risk due to complications from high blood pressure.

Hypertensive Retinopathy

Hypertensive retinopathy – it sounds like an intimidating word, doesn’t it? Well it should. Hypertensive retinopathy is a condition characterized by damage to the retinal blood vessels, and high blood pressure can cause it. This is the reason why it is so important to check for high blood pressure on a regular basis and to treat it the moment it presents itself.

Symptoms of Hypertensive Retinopathy

Symptoms of hypertensive retinopathy can include headaches and vision problems, and if blood pressure is left untreated, the damage can be very serious. Healthy vision depends on a normal supply of blood to the eyes via blood vessels. The wear and tear on blood vessels caused by high blood pressure is a cause for concern.

The vascular structure of your eye is really no different than other parts of your body. Blood vessels that are repeatedly and rapidly exposed to circulating blood become damaged. In your eyes, this damage comes in the form of reduced vision and, eventually, blindness.

There’s No Going Back

The eye damage caused by high blood pressure is usually permanent and irreversible. Because of this, treating high blood pressure should be a top priority. In some cases medication may be necessary and your doctor will be able to provide you with guidance on your particular situation.

If you suspect you have high blood pressure, let your doctor know about your concerns. If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, make sure to follow a healthy diet and take your medication as prescribed. High blood pressure can have serious health consequences. However, if treated, high blood pressure does not have to cause irreversible damage.

September 8, 2006

How High Is High Blood Pressure?

Just What Is Considered Healthy or High Blood Pressure?

Many Americans suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure without even realizing it. In fact, many people don’t even know what a healthy or desirable blood pressure reading should look like. If you think you’ll notice the onset of high blood pressure from the symptoms you’ll feel or if you’re not sure what your blood pressure should even be, you need to read on…

High Blood Pressure is Serious Business

High blood pressure leads to heart disease and is also a risk factor for having a stroke. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important to reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack. If you value your life, you’ll watch your blood pressure.

Blood Pressure Guidelines

Healthy blood pressure guidelines have changed in recent years, but generally a blood pressure reading with a systolic number lower that 120 and a diastolic number lower than 80 is considered desirable. If your blood pressure reading is 120/80 or greater, you are putting unnecessary strain on your heart.

Keep an Eye on It

Getting your blood pressure checked regularly is important especially for individuals already diagnosed with high blood pressure. Weekly readings are helpful for individuals who are borderline hypertensive, meaning they are very close to having high blood pressure. Individuals who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure should consider monitoring their own blood pressure at home on a daily basis.

Monitoring your own blood pressure at home is also beneficial for individuals who have had high blood pressure readings but haven’t yet been prescribed medication to treat it. Sometimes a person might have high readings at his or her doctor’s visits, which is sometimes referred to as white-coat hypertension. If you take your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home, you will get a more realistic idea of what it typically is. Rushing to your doctor’s appointment during your lunch hour will likely elevate it.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure readings is important for protecting yourself against heart disease and reducing your stroke risk level. Knowing that you have high blood pressure is the first step towards successful treatment. Once you are aware of the problem you can take steps to counteract it such as reducing your sodium intake. Some individuals are more sensitive to salt and need to reduce their salt intake in order to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. If dietary changes or weight loss don’t work, medication might be necessary to reduce your blood pressure.

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