AL Noor Eye Hospital


Hypertensive Retinopathy

The article discusses hypertensive retinopathy, which refers to damage to the blood vessels in the retina caused by long-term high blood pressure. The retina is responsible for vision, and damage to it can result in vision loss. Hypertensive retinopathy occurs when high blood pressure leads to spasms or narrowing of the retinal blood vessels. The condition is associated with arteriolar sclerosis, which is the hardening of artery walls and makes them less elastic. Elderly patients and those with essential hypertension may exhibit silver wiring, AV nipping, retinal hemorrhage, cotton wool spots, flame hemorrhages, and optic disc swelling.

Symptoms of hypertensive retinopathy may include blurred vision, double vision, dim vision, headaches, floaters in vision, flashes of light, and sudden vision loss. The condition progresses slowly, and symptoms may only become apparent when a significant amount of vision has already been lost.

Diagnosis of hypertensive retinopathy involves taking a detailed history of hypertension duration and severity, and an ophthalmoscope is used to examine the retina. Digital photographs may be taken to assess the degree of retinal damage, and fluorescein angiography is another test that involves injecting a dye to visualize blood vessel abnormalities in the retina.

The primary management of hypertensive retinopathy involves controlling hypertension, and other conditions that pose a risk to vision should also be treated aggressively. If vision loss occurs, treatment options include laser therapy, intravitreal injections of corticosteroids, or antivascular endothelial growth factor drugs to address retinal edema.