These results suggest that doctors should consider a patient's blood pressure levels in managing the potentially blinding eye disorder, researchers said.
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world, is a condition that occurs when too much pressure builds up inside the eye. This excess pressure pushes back against blood trying to enter the eye resulting in vision loss.
"Studies have shown that high blood pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma. But the reasons for this were never clear," said author Bang Bui, of the University of Melbourne, Australia, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
The new understanding of the consequences of high blood pressure will help doctors treat patients with glaucoma. Instead of viewing hypertension as beneficial in the fight against the disorder, Bui suggests it should be identified as a risk factor.
The study was published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS).

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