The doctor advises… how to prevent high blood pressure in the eyes

Doctor Vischi, why is it important to keep eye pressure under control?

“Generally. Values ​​of ocular pressure that are too high are correlated to one of the most disabling pathologies for vision, that is glaucoma. In Italy it is estimated that about 1 million people are affected, but only half of these are aware of it. Glaucoma, in fact, is defined as “the silent thief of sight.” Without the patient realizing it, one begins to progressively lose lateral vision up to complete blindness. For this reason it is important to keep the root cause of the disease under control. that is the ocular pressure “.

What are the red flags of glaucoma?

“The alarm bells caused by high blood pressure, and therefore by glaucoma, are variable and occur only in the most advanced stages of the disease. Among the first signs we find the progressive loss of lateral vision which brings with it evident difficulties in carrying out actions. everyday life, such as going down stairs, driving, crossing the street.When we stare at an object, we also perceive everything that surrounds it (the peripheral field), a large and detailed image that takes the name of ‘field of view’. In order for the brain to process and acquire information from the environment in which we are immersed, images are transmitted from the retina via the optic nerve. And it is precisely in this passage that the increase in intraocular pressure can affect vision. in fact, the increase in the value of the pressure can irreparably damage the optic nerve. Initially the damage affects the periphery of the visual field: who is sick continues to v he sees the object he stares at, but does not notice that the peripheral area of ​​the field is progressively reducing. Finally, the ‘central vision’ is damaged, that is the area of ​​the retina through which we can fix the objects in front of us. If glaucoma is not treated promptly and successfully, visual acuity is reduced to complete blindness. “

How is it diagnosed?

“Glaucoma is diagnosed by the ophthalmologist through various painless in-depth examinations, performed on an outpatient basis. First, the width of the visual field is assessed, then the iridocorneal angle in order to distinguish the various forms of glaucoma; corneal pachymetry to correlate the corneal thickness to the pressure value and establish the real pressure value. Finally, coherent light optical tomography (OCT) for the study of the papillary morphology and of the peripapillary nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and to have early indications on the state of health of the optic nerve “.

Can prevention be done?

“It is important that the disease is ascertained and treated as soon as possible. Ocular pressure can be caused by inadequate drainage of the eye, increased production of aqueous humor or long-term use of certain medications. diet and lifestyle have no correlation with the development of glaucoma, adopting some precautions in your daily routine can help promote eye health and also contribute to the control of eye pressure. It is then good to perform an eye examination every year complete, follow a healthy diet, practice regular physical activity, limit the use of caffeine, protect the eyes from the sun “.

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