High Blood Pressure Effects

High blood pressure is a chronic condition, and the damage it causes to blood vessels and organs generally occurs over years.

Possible side effects of hypertension that can happen over time when BP is left untreated include:

1. Coronary artery disease

(CAD) affects the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle. When blood can’t flow freely to your heart, you can experience chest pain, a heart attack or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

2. Stroke

A stroke occurs when part of your brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, causing brain cells to die. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke by damaging and weakening your brain’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow, rupture or leak. High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to your brain, blocking blood flow and potentially causing a stroke.

3. Heart failure

Increased strain on your heart caused by high blood pressure can cause your heart muscle to weaken and work less efficiently.

4. Kidney damage

High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney failure. That’s because it can damage both the large arteries leading to your kidneys and the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) within the kidneys. Damage to either makes it so your kidneys can’t effectively filter waste from your blood.

5. Vision loss

High blood pressure can damage the vessels supplying blood to your retina, causing retinopathy. This condition can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision and complete loss of vision.

6. Erectile dysfunction

For some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections often referred to as erectile dysfunction. The problem is fairly common, especially among men who are not treating their high blood pressure.

7. Memory loss

Dementia is a brain disease resulting in problems with thinking, speaking, reasoning, memory, vision and movement. One of the many causes of dementia called vascular dementia, can result from narrowing and blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the brain. It can also result from strokes caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain.

8. Angina

Fats from your diet enter your bloodstream, pass through the damaged cells and collect to start atherosclerosis. These changes can affect arteries throughout your body, blocking blood flow to your heart, kidneys, brain, arms and legs. The damage can cause many problems, including chest pain (angina).

9. Peripheral artery disease

Narrowing of the arteries to your legs, stomach, arms, and head, called peripheral artery disease (PAD), can cause cramping, pain, or tiredness mostly in the leg and hip muscles. People with PAD also have a much higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

10. Hypertensive crisis

Characterized by an extreme and rapid rise in blood pressure (180 or higher systolic or 110 or higher diastolic), may be accompanied by a severe headache, shortness of breath, nosebleed, and/or severe anxiety. Blood pressure may reach levels that are damaging to organs. Requires immediate medical help .

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