Have Questions? Call Us Toll Free (877) 880-5251

Over-Treatment of hypertension can worsen glaucoma

A recent study revealed that patients with normal-tension glaucoma are at a higher risk of losing their vision if they are being treated for systemic hypertension. The prevailing line of thought had been that getting blood pressure down to as low of levels as possible was the best way to go. Researchers discovered this was not the case. Normal-tension glaucoma causes vision loss and optic nerve damage without abnormal eye pressure. The study involved 85 patients. 32% of the participants had both systemic hypertension and normal-tension glaucoma. The amount and duration of decreases in nocturnal blood pressure in addition to treatment of hypertension also was an indicator for the progression of the glaucoma. Researchers found that normal-tension glaucoma patients who had long and sustained blood pressure dips at night and who were being treated for hypertension had a higher risk for progression of their glaucoma compared to the patients who had normal blood pressure. Treating patients with beta blockers provided no protection against the progression of visual field loss. Researchers acknowledge that treating normal-tension glaucoma patients who also suffer from hypertension requires a team approach. The potential consequences of not treating high blood pressure are significant but preserving the vision of the patient also needs to be taken into consideration when pursuing a course of treatment.*

Search VisiVite