Hypertension, alternatively called high blood pressure, is a risk factor than cardiovascular disease. Hypertension quietly damages your body over years before you notice any symptoms. Uncontrolled hypertension leads to disabilities, poor quality of life, severe heart attacks, or stroke.
Treatment and lifestyle changes help control high blood pressure to reduce the chances of life-threatening complications.
What Are the Harmful Effects of High Blood Pressure?
- Artery Damage: Strength, elasticity, and flexibility are the features of healthy arteries to allow blood flow to vital organs besides nutrients and oxygen. Unfortunately, high blood pressure gradually builds the force of blood on the arteries to narrow and damage them. High blood pressure damages cells of the inner lining of the arteries. When fats from your diet enter your bloodstream, they collect in the damaged arteries causing the artery walls to lose their elasticity, limiting blood flow.
- Aneurysm: with time, the steady blood pressure through weakened arteries causes a section of the artery wall to bulge, causing an aneurysm. This condition can potentially rupture and result in a life-threatening condition causing internal bleeding. Aneurysm forms in any artery, but most commonly, it is in the body’s largest artery, the aorta.
High blood pressure results in many problems. They are:
- Coronary Artery Disease: narrowed arteries damaged by hypertension confront challenges supplying blood to the heart. The diminished blood flow can result in chest pain, arrhythmias, or heart attacks needing attention from a 24-hour emergency care facility.
- Enlarged Left Ventricle: High blood pressure compels the heart to work harder and pump blood to the body. It results in the thickening of the lower heart chamber to increase the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and cardiac arrests.
- Heart Failure: with time, the strain on the heart from high blood pressure results in weakening the heart muscles to function inefficiently. Eventually, the heart starts to fail.
Blood supply is essential for the brain to work efficiently. Unfortunately, high blood pressure affects the brain by causing numerous challenges. Some of them are:
- Transient Ischemic Stroke: transient ischemic strokes called mini-strokes that cause a temporary disruption of blood supply to the brain. Blood clots caused by high blood pressure cause TIA because of hardened arteries. TIAs often indicate a full-blown stroke needing help from an ER near me at the earliest.
- Strokes: Strokes occur when a part of the brain gets diminished oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cell death. High blood pressure damages the blood vessels narrowing them and blocking blood flow to cause a stroke.
- Dementia: blocked and narrowed arteries limit blood flow to the brain resulting in a type of dementia interrupting blood flow to the brain and causing vascular dementia.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment: This condition is the state of transition between the changes in understanding and memory that generally occur with aging and the severe problems caused by dementia. Research suggests that mild cognitive impairment is a result of high blood pressure.
Kidneys help filter excess fluids and waste from the blood but require healthy blood vessels. High blood pressure damages the blood vessels leading to the kidneys. Diabetes with high blood pressure can worsen considerably. In addition, high blood pressure causes kidney scarring and failure.
High blood pressure doesn’t merely damage the heart, brain, and kidneys. The condition can also damage the delicate blood vessels supplying blood to the eyes resulting in retinopathy, choroidopathy, and optic neuropathy.
Men become prone to the problem of erectile dysfunction with high blood pressure over 50 years. Men find it challenging to maintain an erection during sex because blood pressure limits blood flow to the sexual organs.
High blood pressure is a chronic condition causing damage over the years. However, occasionally it can rise quickly and severely to become a medical crisis, needing help from emergency clinics as soon as possible.
High blood pressure can result in issues like chest pain, heart attack, severe damage to the main artery of the body, stroke, and impaired pumping of the heart resulting in shortness of breath or pulmonary edema. The conditions are severe even to require hospitalization at the Houston emergency room as the patient becomes critical soon.
In some cases, high blood pressure causes memory loss, personality changes, irritability, and blindness that people may think do not require immediate treatment. However, the condition could be a precursor to severe issues like progressive loss of consciousness and requires attention from the emergency room near me instead of ignoring the problem.
People with high blood pressure must remain up-to-date with their health condition and take precautions to ensure they keep hypertension in control by getting regular evaluations from their physical healthcare provider or Memorial Heights Emergency Center available to offer assistance 24 by seven.