Can Hypertension Contribute to Your Risk of Developing Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Melbourne

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that leads to vision loss due to fluid that builds in the eye and raises eye pressure. Naturally, patients may wonder about the relationship between hypertension and the risk of developing glaucoma. These conditions share a complex relationship; our experts expand on their connection below.

Hypertension and Glaucoma

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can increase intraocular pressure. This is because hypertension influences the amount of fluid the eye produces; it can also negatively affect the eye’s natural drainage system, which can lead to an increase in eye pressure. The optic nerve can indeed become damaged due to eye pressure, leading to vision loss. However, when blood pressure can result in increased eye pressure, the effects are minimal. Hypertension can have other effects on the eye, such as retinal damage.

Can Low Blood Pressure Lead to Glaucoma?

It is common to assume that if high blood pressure increases intraocular pressure, then low blood pressure is better for eye health. However, low blood pressure can also be a risk factor for glaucoma. Ocular perfusion pressure is the difference between blood pressure and intraocular pressure. If blood pressure is too low, the blood may not reach the eye to nourish it with enough oxygen and nutrients. This, in turn, compromises the health of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Those at risk of developing glaucoma are advised to get regular eye examinations. Risk factors for this condition include:

Age of the patient: As we grow older, the risk for glaucoma increases. This is because the eye’s natural drainage mechanism begins to decrease in function, making it easier for fluid to build in the eye and increase pressure.

Eye pressure: If you suffer from elevated eye pressure, which may or may not be influenced by hypertension, your glaucoma risk can increase. Eye drops are typically used to manage high eye pressure.

Family history of glaucoma: If those in your family suffer from glaucoma, you are more likely to develop the condition, especially if the affected family members are siblings or parents. If you are given a glaucoma diagnosis, you might consider advising your immediate family members to undergo an eye examination so that doctors can assess their risk for glaucoma.

Certain medical conditions: Those with medical conditions like diabetes are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

Talk to an Expert

Once vision is lost from glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Prioritize the health of your eyes with a comprehensive eye examination. Schedule an appointment with one of our doctors by calling our office today.