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Can High Blood Pressure Raise Your Risk of Glaucoma?

Can High Blood Pressure Raise Your Risk of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that can lead to vision loss if left untreated. The condition damages the optic nerve and threatens vision. Glaucoma is regularly referred to as a silent illness because most patients do not experience any symptoms related to the condition until it has already caused serious damage. Because glaucoma is related to high intraocular pressure, some may wonder if high blood pressure is a risk factor for the disease. The experts at Laser Eye Center of Miami are invested in preserving your vision. Ahead, learn more about glaucoma risk factors and what actions you can take to maintain the health of your eyes.

Understanding Glaucoma

Aqueous humor is the transparent liquid inside the front part of the eye. Your eyes constantly make this liquid, and as newly produced aqueous flows into the eye, an equal amount drains out. This process regulates pressure in the eye, known as intraocular pressure. If the drainage system in the eye does not function correctly, the fluid begins to build in the eye, which also elevates the pressure. These conditions effectively damage the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the eyes to your brain. This is the main cause of glaucoma.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure. The first comes with little or no warning signs. However, as the disease advances, individuals may notice blind spots in their vision. Much like open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma signs do not typically appear, but in some cases, patients may notice symptoms such as:

  • Forehead pain
  • Eye redness
  • Changes in vision, such as blurriness
  • Rainbows or halos
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

Some patients are at increased risk of developing glaucoma, including:

  • Individuals age 40 and older
  • Those with family history of glaucoma
  • People with elevated intraocular pressure
  • Those who are either farsighted or nearsighted
  • Individuals who have experienced eye injury
  • Long-term users of steroid medications
  • People with thin corneas
  • Those with thinning or compromised optic nerves
  • Patients with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension

High Blood Pressure and Glaucoma

Patients who have hypertension, or high blood pressure, may be at risk of developing glaucoma. This is because high blood pressure levels may increase intraocular pressure. Increased blood pressure can raise the amount of fluid that the eye produces, and it may also impact the drainage system within the eye.

Preventing Vision Loss in Miami

Understanding the risk factors for glaucoma as well as regular eye examinations can help you maintain your vision and eye health. Contact our office today to schedule your eye examination with Dr. Lazcano or Dr. Awad.