The term hypertensive retinopathy is used for damage done to the back part of eye called retina, caused due to high blood pressure.
Retinopathy treatment is one of the most expensive treatment procedures for people suffering from this ailment. However, while the costs of treatment may be expensive, those who are affected by it do not have any other course but to avail it. Otherwise, one is courting blindness if the condition is allowed to worsen. In case of diabetes patients, diabetic retinopathy treatment is even more pressing because the disease is far more damaging if the person is also suffering from diabetes.
Symptoms Of Hypertensive Retinopathy
Obviously, a person with hypertensive retinopathy is suffering from hypertension.
However, most cases of this disease reveal that the patient may be unaware that he is hypertensive and only the eye exam will reveal this symptom. Middle-aged or older people and African-Americans are more susceptible to this condition than younger ones and Caucasians. More often than not, hypertensive retinopathy patients are also visually asymptomatic.
Also, because of the constrictions in the blood vessels, blood flowing to the retinal blood vessels will be restricted and the patient will report the following changes:
- There will be fluid discharge from the blood vessels.
- ‘Cotton wool’ like spots will frequently blur vision.
- Some signs of bleeding will be seen at the back of the eye.
- Optic nerves will suffer from inflammation.
Many of these signs and symptoms are observed by the ophthalmologist while examining the patient.
Hypertensive Retinopathy Causes
As the name suggests hypertensive retinopathy is caused due to abnormal high blood pressure. Hypertension of long duration damages blood vessels in the eyes. The damage is severe if high blood pressure is not under control since long duration. Hypertension damages blood vessel wall. It causes narrowing of blood vessels. Retinal blood supply is restricted. Due to high blood pressure the walls of retinal vessels become weak and blood leaks out from it leading to further damage.
Treatment For Hypertensive Retinopathy
One of the main line of treatment is to control high blood pressure so that further damage to retina is prevented.
Nonetheless, despite the fact that treatment for retinopathy is as varied as the reasons given for its existence. In any case, you may avail of one or more of the following procedures used in retinopathy treatment:
- Laser treatment is the more modern and most effective means at treating the condition. This form of treatment of diabetic retinopathy is considered only once the center part of the eye has been affected. Otherwise, it is deemed too dangerous to attempt the operation, especially because a laser operation is not known to be a cure for the disease. Moreover, in order to make laser treatment effective, early treatment of diabetic retinopathy study suggests that the procedure must be done before the retina gets damaged. Otherwise, it may be too late to cure the condition.
- In the case of small blood vessels bleeding on the surface of the retina, the most viable treatment procedure is through vitrectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the vitreous gel. This case of retinopathy treatment is undertaken only when the condition is far too severe to be treated by laser treatment alone. Vitrectomy is undertaken only by a qualified eye surgeon.