Hypertension may increase risk for developing glaucoma

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, chronic hypertension may increase a person's risk for developing glaucoma.

For the study, researchers from the department of optometry and vision sciences at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia, raised the blood pressure of rats either for 1 hour (short-term hypertension) or for 4 weeks (long-term hypertension).

When the researchers raised the blood pressure for just 1 hour, eye pressure did not increase, but when their blood pressures were elevated for 4 weeks, the researchers found an increase in eye pressure, suggesting that chronic hypertension increases the risk of glaucoma.

It had previously been thought that hypertension counteracts the eye pressure elevation that ultimately causes glaucoma, but this research indicates that chronic hypertension might damage the ophthalmic blood vessels so that the blood vessels cannot compensate for blood flow changes caused by eye pressure elevation.

The researchers note that further research is warranted to better understand the best approach to treat patients with hypertension who also develop glaucoma, but now, clinicians should regard hypertension as a risk factor for glaucoma.

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Chronic hypertension may increase a person's risk for developing glaucoma.
These findings may help doctors treat people with glaucoma. Instead of regarding hypertension as benefiting patients with the eye disease, it should be considered a risk factor for glaucoma, Bui said. Further research is needed to determine the best way to treat people with hypertension who also develop glaucoma, according to the researchers.
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