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My Eye Doctor is a Disease Detective: High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Diabetic Retinopathy

High blood pressure (hypertension) and Diabetes are diseases that affect the blood vessels in your body. These diseases are very common and can affect many organs including the eyes. Since the eye is the only place we can view the blood vessels directly (without surgery), an eye examination can provide a small glimpse into your overall health and identify signs of hypertension and diabetes. 

 

Patient symptoms and signs: 

 

Any of these symptoms should be a sign to visit your eye doctor to check the health of your eye and discuss with the doctor managing your high blood pressure or diabetes to determine if a different treatment is necessary. 

 

What does your eye doctor see?

 

Signs of Hypertensive Retinopathy:

 

Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy: 

 

Treatment

The main goal for any of these findings is to treat or manage the underlying cause which is high blood pressure and/or diabetes. Your eye doctor will report the findings to your primary care doctor or endocrinologist in order to be evaluated for lifestyle changes, start medication, or change medications to better manage your condition. If you have significant hypertensive or diabetic retinopathy and your vision is impacted, treatment with a retinal specialist may be required to reduce further damage to the eyes and preserve vision.

 

If you have been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure or Diabetes, it is important to evaluate the health of the eyes every year, even if you are seeing well. Call to book an appointment for your comprehensive eye exam today at 954-726-0204 or book online!

Author
Dr. Isabel Carvajal Dr. Isabel Carvajal Optometric Physician working at West Broward Eyecare Associates

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