Hypertension is a risk factor for a number of vision-threatening eye conditions including retinal vascular occlusion, retinal macroaneurysm and non arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy. In addition, hypertension may exacerbate the vision-threatening effects of diabetic retinopathy and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. The effects of sustained hypertension are directly visible in the eye as hypertensive retinopathy and choroidopathy, reflecting a pathological process occurring throughout the body. Close collaboration between ophthalmologists and general practitioners/physicians is needed to ensure that hypertensive patients are identified and treated. Timely intervention in these patients may reduce the risk of both vision-threatening and systemic complications.
Keywords: hypertension; retina; retinopathy.
© 2016 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.