Hypertensive Retinopathy

The disease and interruption of perception

Hypertensive Retinopathy explained

Hypertensive retinopathy is caused by repeated high blood pressure that causes the retena's blood vessel walls to thicken (Badii, 2016). As the retina loses function, pressure on the optic nerve can cause a reduction in vision, swelling, double vision, and headaches (Badii, 2016). Studies of neuroplacticity have shown that the brain's neural networks change in the absence of sensory input, such as hearing or vision (Charroa et al., 2012).

Normal functioning compared to abnormal functioning

The normal functioning involves environmental stimulus which will project a sharp image on the receptors of the retina, while a problem in the optical system will produce a blurred image (Goldstein, 2014). The normal functioning also include the initiation of the stimulus that reflects light, utilizes rod and cone receptors, interactions in the neurons, and one's perception (Goldstein, 2014). Hypertensive retinopathy may thicken the back of the eye, which will ultimately affect the rod and cone receptors at the back of the eye as well (Badii 2016). The gestalt approach has principles of perception, and figure segregation (Goldstein, 2014). As we perceive objects and scenes, the end result is a behavioral response of perceiving (Goldstein, 2014).

Hypertensive Visuals

Many physical changes may take place making vision difficult. Some of the problems with HR are due to lack of blood flow, edema, and lipid deposits (Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013). A regular eye will have blood vessels that constrict when blood pressure drops, and relax when blood pressure climbs, while those in danger of hypertensive retinopathy risk vascular damage with sudden blood pressure spikes (Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013). As mentioned above, reduced vision and swelling are that of a patient suffering from the result of high blood pressure and it's danger to the fragile optical system.


Goldstein, E. B. (2014). Sensation and Perception (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Charroó-Ruíz, L. E., Pérez-Abalo, M. C., Hernández, M. C., Ãlvarez, B., Bermejo, B., Bermejo, S., & ... Díaz-Comas, L. (2012). Cross-Modal Plasticity in Cuban Visually-Impaired Child Cochlear Implant Candidates: Topography of Somatosensory Evoked Potentials...[corrected][published erratum appears in MEDICC REV 2012 Jul; 14(3): p.51]. MEDICC Review, 14(2), 23-29 7p.

Mirzaie, H. (2009). Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/hmirzaeee/hypertensive-retinopathy

Sharma, K., Kanaujia, V., Mishra, P., Agarwal, R., & Tripathi, A. (2013). Hypertensive retinopathy. Clinical Queries Nephrology, 2(3), 136. doi:10.1016/j.cqn.2013.08.001

Treatment and Prognosis

It's imperative that blood pressure be addressed, and lowered gradually (Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013). A sudden decline in blood pressure; almost as disastrous as the sudden hypertension can ischemia of optic nerve head, brain and other vital organs leading to permanent damage ( Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013). Permanent damage is always a risk, but improvement should begin once the primary reason for the blood pressure is controlled (Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013). Although rare, vision loss may come from retinal pigment changes secondary to retinal detachment (Sharma, Kanaujia, Mishra, Agarwal, & Tripathi, 2013).