High Blood Pressure? Have Your Eyes Checked!

If you have high blood pressure or are at risk for high blood pressure, you should have a comprehensive eye examination to check for ocular damage. The following article discusses the risks of high blood pressure poses for overall eye health and vision. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye care services and products to the Cape Coral and Fort Myers communities.

High blood pressure has a significant impact on eye health – if your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, he or she may want to make sure your condition has not affected your vision. A series of eye examinations will be conducted to determine whether or not the blood vessels behind the eyes have been compromised.

Conversely, patients who have not had a formal diagnosis of high blood pressure by their GP may learn of the potentially serious condition during a routine eye exam. High blood pressure often leads to a clear change in the integrity of the small blood vessels behind the eyes – they may burst, or become thickened, or shrink. These signals may also be present in the blood vessels in other organs, such as the kidneys. This is why regular eye examinations are such an important factor in our comprehensive physical health.

How Eye Examinations Are Performed

When your optometrist checks your eyes, you will undergo a procedure to facilitate pupil dilation. This is achieved through the use of special eye drops – either phenylephrine or cyclopentolate. The reaction of the pupil allows the doctor to view the internal portion of the eye; when the pupil is dilated, it does not shrink when a light is shone into the eye. The drops typically take approximately 30 minutes to fully activate.

Using the light from a tool known as an ophthalmoscope, the doctor examines the condition of the blood vessels inside the eye, which the tool magnifies. Although the eye drops and the extended exposure of the eye to the light of the ophthalmoscope may cause some discomfort, the lingering effects of the procedure are brief, and the eyes return to normal after a few hours.

How to Prepare for an Eye Exam

Before your eye examination, you should communicate with your eye doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Allergies to medications
  • Medical conditions that require that you take medications/supplements
  • Currently have glaucoma
  • Have a family history of glaucoma

You should arrange to have someone drive you back to your home, as your vision may not become clear for several hours after the administration of the eye drops. Additionally, the drops can make the eyes light sensitive, so have a pair of sunglasses to minimize discomfort.

OptiExpress: South Florida’s Premier Eye Care Center

For 20 years, OptiExpress has helped give South Florida communities the tools and resources to maximize their eye health. Founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been awarded Cape Coral’s “Best Optometrist” recognition three consecutive times, receiving glowing testimonials and reviews from his diverse patient base. OptiExpress is proud to offer not only compassionate eye care, but also affordable corrective lens and eye exam packages, a one-hour lab, and an enormous selection of designer eyewear.

For more information about OptiExpress locations in Cape Coral and Fort Myers or to schedule an appointment, please visit our contact page.