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The Importance Of Senior Eye Exams For High Blood Pressure

The Importance Of Senior Eye Exams For High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure causes damage to the arteries and threatens heart health. High blood pressure makes the arteries less elastic, which decreases blood flow through the body and minimizes oxygen and nutrient distribution in the body. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and even heart attacks. High blood pressure also threatens eye health and can lead to the development of an eye condition called hypertensive retinopathy. This condition can develop in anyone with high blood pressure and your risk of developing it increases with age. A senior eye exam can detect this eye condition and may even detect your high blood pressure.


Senior Eye Exams And Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure Detection
Although you may not consider your eyes to be connected to your general health, the eyes can provide insight and aid in the diagnosis of serious health conditions. When an optometrist looks into your eyes during a senior eye exam, they view the health of all components of the eyes, including the arteries and veins within the eye. These delicate components can show the optometrist signs of health conditions such as diabetes as well as high blood pressure.

Hypertensive Retinopathy
When a person has high blood pressure, it puts strain on the walls of the arteries. This causes narrowing and arteriosclerosis or plaque buildup that restricts the arteries. This can affect all arteries in the body, including the delicate arteries of the eyes. The eye needs blood flow to get nutrients to the retina to allow us to see, and if the arteries become blocked or restricted, it can cut off or reduce the oxygen supply to the eye. If the retina does not receive the blood it needs, this can cause retinal damage and can lead to vision impairment and blindness. Swelling of the arteries and bleeding within the eye caused by high blood pressure can also lead to vision impairment and blindness.

Who Is Most Likely To Develop Hypertensive Retinopathy?
A person’s risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age. As a person ages, the arteries tend to get stiffer and lifestyle habits catch up. High blood pressure can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors, including tobacco use, high levels of salt consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, low potassium, excess alcohol consumption, prolonged high stress levels, and genetics. People who are predisposed to high blood pressure need to regularly monitor their blood pressure and visit their optometrist once a year to check vision health, and everyone 65 and older should visit their optometrist for annual senior eye exams. Visiting the optometrist for a senior eye exam ensures that any signs of hypertensive retinopathy are being caught early. Detecting eye conditions early can help you preserve your vision by creating a blood pressure management plan that helps you keep your blood pressure at normal rates.

Senior eye exams do more than detect high blood pressure and hypertensive retinopathy, they also detect other eye conditions that can threaten your eye health and vision. Read The Importance Of Annual Eye Exams For Seniors to learn more.


Senior Eye Exams In Calgary

Regular eye exams are always important, but they become even more important as we become older. Senior eye exams are a simple but vital part of maintaining optimal health and preserving vision. When you schedule a senior eye exam at Market Mall Optometry, our staff will check for hypertensive retinopathy and a variety of other eye conditions. The optometrist will also discuss your medical history, including your eye health. If you are diagnosed with hypertensive retinopathy, your optometrist will work with you and your doctor to develop a blood pressure management plan to bring your blood pressure back to a safe level. To schedule a senior eye exam, call Market Mall Optometry in Calgary at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.



Q: How can hypertensive retinopathy be controlled?
A: The only known way to control hypertensive retinopathy is to manage your blood pressure and bring blood pressure levels down. This can be done through changes in lifestyle such as eating healthy and increasing exercise, as well as the use of doctor-recommended medications.

Q: Who is covered by Alberta health care?
A: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers annual eye exams for children aged 0-18 and senior eye exams for adults aged 65 and up. The province's health insurance plan also provides coverage for all emergency visits to an eye doctor.

Q: What are some signs that I should visit an optometrist?
A: While you should see your optometrist once a year, you may want to book an eye exam sooner rather than later if you are experiencing any issues with your eyes. This includes vision issues such as blurry vision, as well as eye health concerns such as red eyes, itchy eyes, pain in or around the eye, or anything else that is out of the ordinary. Here is a list of reasons you should schedule an eye exam.

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