Posted by: juliegriffey | December 1, 2013

Why would an eye doctor need a blood pressure cuff?

Blood Pressure Cuff

Blood Pressure Cuff

Occasionally when I am working on the Amcon web site or paging through our catalog, I see a product that makes me wonder… “why would an eye doctor need that??”  I mean there has to be a need or a want for a product in our catalog, otherwise the item would have never been added to the product line in the first place.  And if an item stays in the Amcon product line, it’s because our customers are buying it.

So why the heck would our customers need a blood pressure cuff?  Whenever I get my eyes checked – a blood pressure check is not part of the exam.  So I posed this question to my husband.  He’s an ER doc but his father and brother are both ophthalmologists, and being that he’s not the type of guy to ever respond to a question,with an “I don’t know,” I thought he might have an answer for me.

“Well… ” he said “if someone started to feel faint during their eye exam, the first thing you would want to do is check their blood pressure.” Sounds reasonable.  Based on my experience hanging out at my brother-in-law’s ophthalmology practice – it seems that a large part of his patient population is elderly – and susceptible to feeling faint.   A blood pressure check could indicate whether a patient needed more immediate and thorough medical attention.

My husband also explained that some types of retinal hemorrhages can be an indicator of other systematic illnesses.  If an eye doctor were to detect hemorrages such as these on examination, he might want to follow up with a blood pressure check. If a patient’s blood pressure were really high the doctor would want to take steps to bring it down immediately.

I am sure there are other reasons why an eye doctor might do a blood pressure check – these were just what my husband came up with off the top of his head. Please submit your comments – do you use a blood pressure cuff in your practice? If so, when?



  1. Interesting question ! I work in an eye clinic and even we have a blood pressure cuff. Our Eye Specialist Doctors and staff use it mainly before surgery to ensure that the blood pressure of the patient undergoing the eye surgery is normal.

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