Hypertensive Retinopathy

You are here:


Your Appointment

    What is Hypertensive Retinopathy?

    Understanding About
    Hypertensive Retinopathy

    Hypertensive retinopathy (HR) is a condition characterized by damage to the retinal vessels caused by elevated blood pressure. It is one of the three types of ocular damage associated with hypertension, the other two being choroidopathy and optic neuropathy. 

    HR is considered a form of target-organ damage (TOD) resulting from poorly controlled hypertension. 

    Studies indicate that the severity and duration of hypertension correlate with the incidence of retinopathy. Importantly, hypertensive retinopathy serves as a predictor of systemic morbidity and mortality due to TOD, highlighting the significance of its early detection and management.

    Hypertensive Retinopathy

    Hypertensive Retinopathy

     High blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels in the eyes. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it has been high, the more severe the damage is likely to be. Your doctor can see narrowing of blood vessels, and excess fluid oozing from blood vessels, with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope. The degree of retina damage (retinopathy) is graded on a scale of I to IV. At grade I, no symptoms may be present. Grade IV hypertensive retinopathy includes swelling of the visual center of the retina (macula). Such swelling can cause decreased vision.

    Control of high blood pressure (hypertension) is the only treatment for hypertensive retinopathy.
    Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have high blood pressure and vision changes or headaches occur.
    Control of high blood pressure prevents changes in the blood vessels of the eye.