Eye test

An eye test is carried out to assess the state of health of your eyes but it is also useful at detecting any damage caused by your high blood pressure.

If you have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure then your GP may also refer you for an eye test at a specialist eye clinic. The main reason for this is that high blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels within your eye.

Chronic high blood pressure can narrow or harden these vessels over time which causes them to weaken and even rupture.

An eye test involves looking at the back of your eye where these blood vessels are based to see if there have been any changes caused by high blood pressure. In some cases, people only discover they have high blood pressure from a routine eye test.

Preparing for an eye test

Most of us have undergone an eye test so are familiar with the process.

But mention to your GP or eye specialist if you have any history of eye conditions such as glaucoma, any allergies or are taking any medication.

Eye drops will be placed in your eyes before the start of the test which will blur your vision for a few hours. So ask someone to drive you home after the test.

The eye test

Drops will be placed in your eyes to help widen the pupils and so enable your GP/eye specialist to have a better view of the back of your eyes. These do sting initially but this does wear off after a short period of time.

Your GP or eye specialist will use a hand held device called an ‘ophthalmoscope’which shines a bright light into your eye. This also enables him/her to view the back of your eye via magnifying glasses.

You will find that this light causes images of the back of your eye to be reflected in your eyesight. Do not be worried by this as it is a normal part of the procedure.

Your GP or eye specialist will discuss the findings of the eye test with you.

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