Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
Even though you may not have any symptoms of high blood pressure, damage to your blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected.
Complications of high blood pressure
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to complications including:
1. Heart disease
Because of the strain on your heart caused by high blood pressure, it can lead to weakening of your heart muscle causing it to work less efficiently. It can also cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack.
It 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
An aneurysm refers to a weakening of an artery wall that creates a bulge, or distention, of the artery. Aneurysms can form in any artery throughout your body, but they’re most common in your body’s largest artery (aorta). At their most severe stage, some can rupture, leading to life-threatening internal bleeding
4. Heart failure
To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, the heart has to work harder. This causes the walls of the heart’s pumping chamber to thicken. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure.
5. Kidney disease
High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney failure. It can damage both the large arteries leading to your kidneys and the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) within the kidneys. Damage to either prevents your kidneys to effectively filter waste from your blood. As a result, dangerous levels of fluid and waste can accumulate. In the end you may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
There are tiny, delicate blood vessels that supply blood to your eyes. High blood pressure can lead to blocked blood flow causing damage to the retina or nerves. This can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision due to scarring or complete loss of vision.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Narrowed or blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain, leading to a certain type of dementia (vascular dementia). A stroke that interrupts blood flow to the brain also can cause vascular dementia.
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