- Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition wherein the force of the blood against the artery wall is high enough that it results in other serious heart diseases.
- Aside from the heart, high blood pressure can also affect the different vital organs of the body.
- Keeping the blood pressure under control can help you prevent other life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
Hypertension is a primary risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases. Uncontrolled blood pressure can also bring damage and complications to the different parts of the body. Some of these affected organs are the:
High blood pressure mostly affects the heart and can cause:
- Enlarged left heart. When the pressure gets high, the heart needs to pump harder to deliver blood to the body’s different parts. Over time, the left ventricle thickens and can cause heart attack, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death.
- Coronary artery disease. Narrow and clogged arteries cannot readily supply blood to the heart. When there is insufficient blood, it can result in angina (chest pain), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and heart attack.
- Heart failure. The continuous strain and stress brought about by the high blood pressure can make the heart muscles weaker and eventually stop working.
The constant high pressure of the blood can damage the inner lining of the arteries. When this happens, fats in the blood can accumulate in the streets, making it less elastic, resulting in limited blood flow. As the artery becomes weaker, less elastic, and flexible, its wall can enlarge and form a bulge (aneurysm), which can rupture and cause fatal conditions like internal bleeding.
The brain also needs blood to function, but too much blood pressure can also damage it.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). It is a temporary and brief disruption of brain blood supply. It is referred to as ministroke, as it is a warning that you are in danger for a full-blown stroke. TIA can be caused by blood clots or hardened arteries due to high blood pressure.
- Stroke. When a part of the brain cannot be supplied with nutrients and oxygen, the brain cells die, and stroke can happen. Arteries and other blood vessels damaged by high blood pressure can form clots, rupture, and leak. This condition can lead to blockage of blood supply to the brain.
- Dementia. Limited blood flow to the brain can cause vascular dementia.
- Cognitive impairment. Research suggests that high blood pressure can affect the mental and memory function of the brain.
High blood pressure can also damage the blood vessels connected to the kidneys. It can result in different kidney diseases like:
- Kidney scarring. It results from the kidney blood vessels being scarred and not being able to filter blood and waste.
- Kidney failure. Damaged blood vessels can make the kidneys ineffective and unable to do its function.
High blood pressure can also affect the nerves and blood vessels of the eyes.
- Retinopathy. The tissue at the back of the eye is damaged and can cause bleeding, blurry, or complete vision loss.
- Choriodopathy. It is the build-up of fluid in the retina. This condition can distort or impair the vision.
- Neuropathy. If blood flow is blocked, the optic nerves can get damaged, and vision gets impaired.
High blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction in men. In women, reduced blood flow in their vagina can lead to reduced arousal and orgasm.
Source: Mayo Clinic