Most people with hypertensive retinopathy do not have symptoms until late in the disease.
Malignant hypertension may cause the following sudden symptoms, and should be considered a medical emergency:
- Double vision or dim vision
Visual disturbances, and sometimes sudden vision loss
Signs and tests
Using an instrument called an
The degree of retina damage (retinopathy) is graded on a scale of 1 to 4:
- At grade 1, you may not have symptoms.
- In between grades 1 and 4, there are a number of changes in the blood vessels, areas where blood vessels have leaked, and other parts of the retina.
- Grade 4 hypertensive retinopathy includes swelling of the optic nerve and of the visual center of the retina (macula). This swelling can cause decreased vision.
Review Date: 08/31/2010
Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.