We hear about blood pressure all the time. We hear that we need to measure it, keep it under control, and maintain a healthy lifestyle so we won’t develop this medical problem. We know it’s important, but what are the real reasons? Why is high blood pressure dangerous?
Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. The CDC estimates that one third of Americans have high blood pressure, but don’t be foolish enough to think that since it’s so common, it’s no big deal.
There are no obvious symptoms. Uncontrolled hypertension is quite dangerous if you don’t do something to treat it. High blood pressure eventually will damage your blood vessels, and LDL or bad cholesterol will build up in your artery walls. Narrowed arteries cause your circulation system to work harder and at the same time decreases its efficiency.
The bottom line: it increases your risk for life-threatening issues.
How High Blood Pressure Can Affect Your Life
Higher Risk for a Heart Attack and Stroke
Narrow arteries can have deposits of plaque which block your arteries and lead to blood clots. These clots can block natural flow to your heart or your brain.
With blocked arteries, your heart has to work more to circulate blood. This increased pressure can cause your heart to enlarge and not supply your organs with sufficient blood.
High blood pressure causes damage to the arteries around the kidneys. Your kidneys remove toxins and regulate many of your bodily functions. Kidney failure can be the result.
Chest pain is a typical result of high blood pressure. Angina happens when the heart doesn’t get enough blood. Walking up stairs, walking uphill, or exercising can cause chest pain.
Most people do not associate vision problems with high blood pressure, but the tiny blood vessels in your eyes can be damaged. It can also cause swelling of the optic nerve. Left untreated, you can have permanent vision loss.
It can cause erectile dysfunction in men and low libido in women.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Atherosclerosis develops from high blood pressure leading to narrowed arteries in your legs, arms, stomach, or head causing pain and fatigue.
So Is There Any Good News?
Hypertension can be treated with medication and a healthy lifestyle.
Talk with New Jersey Cardiology Associates to discover if you need medication or whether changing some lifestyle habits might treat hypertension.