Retinal Disease in High Blood Pressure (Hypertensive Retinopathy): Overview

Hypertensive retinopathy is a disease of the retina caused by chronic high blood pressure or acute high blood pressure. More about causes, diagnosis, therapy

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If your blood pressure is permanently high, your eyes will eventually suffer too

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What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (arterial hypertension) is a circulatory disease. Almost half of all over fifty year olds are affected. But not only: more and more children and adolescents are also dealing with high blood pressure. Obesity plays an important role in this.

If values ​​from 140/90 mmHg are repeatedly measured in the doctor's office, there is high blood pressure. Limits for self-measurement: 135/85 mmHg. These limits apply to adults (they are slightly lower for children). The range of 130-139 systolic / 85-89 mmHg diastolic is considered highly normal, although the values ​​are already elevated. Values ​​of 120 - 129 mmHg / 80 - 84 mmHg are normal.

Heart action and blood pressure

© W & B / Ulrike Möhle

The upper measured value is used as the systolic blood pressure value. The lower one is called the diastolic value. The systolic pressure shows the moment when the left ventricle contracts and pumps blood into the body's circulation. The lower value occurs when the heart chambers are dilated again to fill with blood.

Even if it doesn't cause any symptoms for a long time, high blood pressure damages the blood vessels in the long run. Atherosclerosis develops. The arteries stiffen and narrow. This worsens the blood flow to the organs. This is particularly problematic when the heart, brain, kidneys or even the eyes are affected. Even more: arteriosclerosis has unfavorable repercussions on blood pressure, it can rise further and is possibly more difficult to treat. So it creates a vicious circle.

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