Hypertensive retinopathy is damage to the retinal vessels from high blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it has been high, the more severe the damage is likely to be. When you have diabetes, high cholesterol levels, or you smoke, you have a higher risk of damage and vision loss. 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. The symptoms include double vision or dim vision, headaches, and/or visual disturbances and sometimes sudden vision loss
Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) is the only treatment for hypertensive retinopathy. The retina will generally recover if the blood pressure is controlled.