High blood pressure symptoms: The eye changes that could be a warning sign of hypertension

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is estimated to impact 14.4 million people in the UK. According to Heart.org, high blood pressure “has no obvious symptoms” which is why it can be so dangerous. However, in some cases, patients may begin to notice changes in their eyes.

Although immediate symptoms might not be noticeable, dizziness or heart palpitations are commonly recorded among patients.

Eye changes, though, might not be something you would associate with high blood pressure.

Despite this, Heart.org says “blood vessels in the retina can become a little more stiff and hardened” as a result of vascular conditions.

Dr William White, an optometrist with Baylor Scott and White Health in Temple, Texas, said: “They’ll push on each other and cross, like two hoses in a confined space.

“When it gets really bad, we’ll see some of the blood vessels start to leak, we’ll see some haemorrhaging.

“And that can cause a whole range of vision issues.”

Blurred vision can be one significant change people with hypertension may notice.

Speaking previously to Express.co.uk, NHS GP Dr Gary Bartlett said: “If patients do experience symptoms, symptoms are often vague.

“Patients may report headaches and possible blurred vision.”

In some cases, people may also notice burst blood vessels in the eye due to high blood pressure.

This often appears as a red patch on the white part of your eye, known as the sclera.

Often, a burst blood vessel in the eye will not impact vision at all, nor will it cause any pain.

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How can I find out if I have high blood pressure?

Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it.

According to the NHS: “The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.”

You can do this by visiting your GP, and often this will occur as part of a routine health check-up.

At a check-up, your GP or nurse will measure your blood pressure using a machine.

An inflatable fabric cuff will be placed around your upper arm, so it is often a good idea to wear a loose T-shirt.

The cuff is attached to a small machine via a plastic tube.

The health professional assisting you will inflate the cuff using a small hand-held pump.

As the cuff deflates the machine will read your blood pressure and display the numbers on a screen.

Usually, tests take no more than two minutes.

The NHS states: “As a general guide, high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80).

“Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.”

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