Blood pressure·

The effects of high blood pressure on the eye

Age-related macular degeneration(AMD) and high blood pressure are two common health problems that often affect the elderly. Although they may seem unrelated at first glance, recent studies have revealed intriguing links between the two conditions.


Understanding AMD

AMD is a progressive eye disease that affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision. It leads to a gradual loss of central vision, impairing activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. AMD can be classified into two forms: dry AMD, characterized by the buildup of drusen (yellow deposits) in the macula, and wet AMD, involving the growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the macula.


Figure 1 Anatomy of the human eye

The Intriguing Relationship: AMD and Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that people with high blood pressure may be at increased risk of developing AMD. Elevated blood pressure can lead to damage in the delicate blood vessels of the retina, compromising its function and potentially contributing to the development of AMD.


Figure 2. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the retina.

Furthermore, high blood pressure may worsen the progression of AMD in individuals already diagnosed with the condition. The compromised blood vessels in the retina can promote inflammation and oxidative stress, accelerating the degenerative processes in the macula.

The Beaver Dam Eye study, funded by the National Eye Institute has been investigating these links since 1987. In this large-scale research trial, more than 5,000 residents of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, were studied to determine the link between high blood pressure and AMD. Researchers found that the use of any type of blood pressure medication - also known as a vasodilator - was associated with a greater risk of developing AMD.

Prevent and control AMD by managing blood pressure

To maintain healthy blood pressure and prevent AMD, consider the following:

  • Exercise regularly, eat a balanced low-sodium diet and use stress-reduction techniques such as meditation to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly and consult ophthalmologists for personalized advice and medication if necessary.

By adopting a healthy lifestyle and working closely with healthcare professionals, you can effectively manage your blood pressure and reduce the risk of AMD.


Figure 3. A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of AMD


New research has highlighted the link between AMD and high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can contribute to the development and progression of AMD, highlighting the importance of managing blood pressure levels for both AMD prevention and control. By maintaining healthy blood pressure and seeking professional guidance, you can take proactive steps towards preserving your vision and overall well-being.

Remember, if you have concerns about your blood pressure or vision health, it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals for proper evaluation, guidance, and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

You can also have access to personalized lifestyle recommendations to prevent AMD by visiting


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