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Visible Pulse in Eyes (Adolescent with Hypertension)
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Visible Pulse in Eyes (Adolescent with Hypertension)

I have been suffering from pulsing in my vision for several years now. It began when I was 14, and has continued since then (I am currently 17).

I am able to see veins/blood vessels in my eyes which throb (visually) in sync with my pulse. My vision is distorted slightly in the areas surrounding these vessels while they are throbbing (not severely; the area simply warps slightly). The effect is more noticable when I'm in brightly lit areas, and is also often acccompanied by a sensation of pressure and discomfort (which by some definitions could verge on pain occasionally) as well. This symptom is exacerbated when I bend over or exercise.

I have been diagnosed with essential hypertension and am currently taking 20mg of Lisinopril daily as treatment.

I have seen several specialists including a nephrologist, a cardiologist, an opthamologist, and a neurologist. The doctor who referred me to them was a pediatrician, and was initially concerned that I may have had an aneurysm. I was sent for an MRI, which was returned as normal. Further testing, including a renal scan, echocardiogram, several eye exams, and a chest x-ray showed no significant problem. I was given some insight into the nature of my problem: the nephrologist suggested that my hypertension could have been triggered by adolescence, adding that it may or may not gradually disappear with time. The tests did not, however, explain my visual symptoms, which to this day I find quite distressing.

I'm concerned that either my condition hasn't been properly diagnosed, or that my blood pressure is not being consistently controlled.

Does this sound right to you?

Many thanks in advance,
-Origin

PS: There is one other fact I feel may be relevant: The opthamologist mentioned that I had an "anomalous optic nerve."
5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The perception of vision is mainly in the retina, the inner layer in the eye. The other structures help to transmit the light waves. Long term or inadequately controlled hypertension can affect the blood vessels in the  retina and the consequent changes are referred to as hypertensive retinopathy. Hence a regular follow up with an ophthalmologist is recommended for all hypertensive patients to study these changes.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar m tn
If I were suffering from hypertensive retinopathy, wouldn't the opthamologist have identified that during his tests and exams? If I recall correctly, he noted that my eyes had not been damaged by my high blood pressure. Should I still schedule an appointment, despite this?
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Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

If a fundoscopy has been done, your ophthalmologist would have noticed hypertensive retinopathy changes if present. Any further investigations or therapy will depend on your present vision, both far near and peripheral and the findings if any.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar m tn
I can count my pulse in a dim light,MRI was neg,a doctor told me it may be from   my cholesterol med.my blood pressure is about 122/68-no hyper.
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Avatar n tn
I have been having a problem with my eyes for about 2 years now. When I am laying down, and first open my eyes, I can see a quick flash of the blood vessels in my own eye. Similar to when you are having an eye exam, and the doctor shines a light in your eye, and you can see the vessels then, except when I see them, it's not accompanied by the orange light effect.. it's just kind of black or dark. It happens daily, but only when I have been lying down. I do have high blood pressure, but it's under control. I have been on meds for it for the past few years. I have also recently had some changes in cholesterol. I had something called "Pseudo Tumor Cerebra" which means that the optic nerve is swollen, but the doctor has said that my optic nerve looks great now, and it has been normal for years. I can't understand why this after image of my own blood vessels keeps happening though. Have you found out anything about your condition?
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