Hypertension may affect the body and the quality of life in different ways. Learn about the effects of hypertension on the body and how to remain healthy.
- Hypertension may increase your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure may put you at risk of stroke.
- Elevated BP is one of the most common risk factors for kidney failure. Kidney failure is a serious condition in which the kidneys cannot function normally.
Hypertension is a condition when blood pressure is above normal. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications. Many factors, including obesity, a family history of high blood pressure, smoking, and alcohol use, can cause hypertension.
High blood pressure can have serious effects on your body and may even decrease your lifespan by up to five years. Moreover, older adults are at a higher risk of developing severe health issues with uncontrolled BP.
Keep reading to learn the effect of hypertension. Also, read how to lower your blood pressure to manage it better.
Effects Of Uncontrolled Hypertension On The Body
Uncontrolled hypertension can have several negative effects on the body. These effects can range from minor to life-threatening and often depend on the severity of hypertension. Some of the most common effects of uncontrolled hypertension include the following.
Uncontrolled hypertension can increase the risk of heart disease by increasing the fat in the blood Vessels, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Hypertension can also increase the risk of stroke by increasing the amount of fluid in the blood. Fluid build-up in the brain can cause a stroke.
Uncontrollably high BP can also lead to an aortic aneurysm, a type of tear in one or more layers of the inner wall of an artery. This may increase the risk of heart attack and death.
Vision problems are common among people with hypertension. The most common is difficulty seeing in the center of the screen. Other issues include blurred vision, light sensitivity, and difficulty reading.
Hypertension damages blood vessels in the eyes, which may lead to vision problems. It also makes the optic nerves weak, which may make it harder for the eye to move and see.
Hypertension can cause chest pain due to increased pressure on the heart muscle. The chest pain is due to damage to the heart and blood vessels. This damage can cause the heart to work harder than it should, leading to angina (chest pain) or a heart attack. Many people don’t know they have hypertension until they experience chest pain.
Uncontrolled hypertension can also cause kidney failure, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. One of the most common is by causing blood vessel damage in the kidney. This can lead to reduced blood flow and eventually to kidney failure.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
PAD complications include the inability to walk short distances due to pain in the feet or lower legs. You may also feel numbness or tingling in the feet and toes. Permanent damage may occur to small blood vessels in the feet and toes.
When blood pressure rises above 180/120, it can result in a hypertensive crisis. Keep a check on your daily reading using this blood pressure chart. A hypertensive crisis is a severe medical emergency that can occur when blood pressure stays high for a prolonged period of time.
A hypertensive crisis often manifests with serious symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and seizures. In some cases, hypertension may be so severe that it may lead to a heart attack or stroke.
How To Identify Your Blood Pressure Is High?
If your blood pressure is consistently above 140/90 mm Hg, it’s time to get evaluated. People with blood pressure over 120/80 mm Hg or greater see their doctor for further evaluation and possible treatment. The simplest way is to use a digital home monitor.
You can also ask your doctor to measure your blood pressure at various points during the day. If you have hypertension, your doctor will probably recommend lifestyle changes and medications to help control your blood pressure.
Causes Of Hypertension
A number of factors can contribute to high blood pressure, including obesity, a family history of hypertension, age, race and ethnicity, and genetics. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than other races to have high blood pressure.
Besides, some people are more likely to develop high blood pressure than others based on their genes. High levels of salt in the diet may increase BP. A build-up of fatty substances (lipids) in the bloodstream, smoking, and lack of exercise may also cause hypertension.
How To Manage Hypertension
There are several ways to manage hypertension, but the most crucial step is to identify and understand your individual risk factors. Once you know what’s causing your hypertension, you can start to take steps to lower your blood pressure.
There are many different types of medications available to lower blood pressure. Some people may need only one type, while others may require several. It’s important to discuss your options with your doctor so they can customize a treatment plan that works best for you.
Regular exercise is also crucial for managing hypertension. Exercise helps reduce blood pressure by increasing heart rate and reducing fat mass. It’s also been shown to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions.
Include the best supplements for lowering blood pressure to support your health. Keeping track of your BP readings is also essential. If your blood pressure rises or falls significantly from one reading to the next, it may be time for you to see your doctor.
Hypertension’s most serious long-term effects include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision problems, and cognitive decline.
Treatment for hypertension includes lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.
Lifestyle changes include losing weight if you are overweight or exercising regularly.
NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists. “High Blood Pressure and Older Adults” October 01, 2022. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/high-blood-pressure-and-older-adults
Kobeissi, Elsa, and Hibino, Makoto. “Blood pressure, hypertension and the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms” Eur J Epidemiol. 2019; 34(6): 547–555. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6497813/#:~:text=Abdominal%20aortic%20aneurysms%20(AAA)%20are,in%20a%20comprehensive%20meta%2Danalysis