Nearly half of all American adults have high blood, however, many don’t even know they have it because it often times presents no obvious symptoms. With this figure continuing to increase year-over-year, it’s important for everyone to know their blood pressure numbers and what they mean.
It’s also important to be aware of your risk factors. There are physical traits and lifestyle choices that can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, many of which can be prevented or managed with medication or lifestyle changes. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can be detrimental to your overall health and even life-threatening. Here are six negative effects you should be aware of:
1. Increased risk of heart attack and heart stroke: High Blood pressure cause excessive strain leads to the damage the coronary arteries and further making them a contract or narrowed down from build-up cholesterol or fat. It interrupts the natural flow of the blood to the heart and increases the pressure. At the most extreme condition, it prevents muscles to absorb oxygen eventually causing a heart attack. Similarly, it also increases the chances of stroke where brain vessels to the brain got blocked due to clot or bursts.
2. May lead to heart failure: Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to support the other organs in the body. An estimated 5.7 million adults in the U.S. have heart failure and roughly half of those who develop it will die within 5 years of diagnosis. Many deaths resulting from heart failure occur in patients who are also found to have high blood pressure, also called hypertension.
3. May develop vision problems and vision loss: High blood pressure doesn’t just affect your heart. It can cause damage to the vessels which supply blood to the retina in your eyes. If damage occurs, it can lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision or total loss of vision. It can also result in nerve damage that can affect your eyes. Those with both high blood pressure and diabetes have an even greater risk of developing vision problems.
4. Increased risk for kidney disease and/or kidney failure: High blood pressure can also cause damage to the arteries leading to your kidneys, affecting their ability to effectively filter blood. In fact, hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney failure.
5. May lead to sexual dysfunction: Because blood pressure refers to the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, it has the potential to affect all areas of the body including your reproductive organs. When nerves are damaged, high blood pressure may lead to sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction in men and decreased libido in women.
6. Greater risk for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD): Hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis, or the narrowing and blockage of arteries in critical regions of the body Atherosclerosis causes both coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease. The latter affects areas of the body served by the peripheral arteries such as the legs, stomach, arms and head. The most common symptoms include cramping, pain or fatigue in the leg or hip muscles, particularly when walking or climbing stairs. Left untreated, peripheral artery disease can lead to gangrene and amputation.
When to Seek Help
As you can see, the effects of high blood pressure are far-reaching. Untreated, hypertension can lead to long-term or permanent damage, in many cases can contribute to death.
Dr. Farhan Majeed uses state-of-the-art technologies and state-of-the-art therapies to serve patients in and around Port Charlotte, Florida who need cardiac and vascular care. If you’ve experienced the negative effects of uncontrolled high blood pressure, call (941) 629-2111 to schedule an appointment today.