Nearly one out of every two adults in the United States has hypertension, and most of them do not have it under control.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when the force of your blood pumping against the walls of your arteries is too high for too long. Treatment typically includes lifestyle changes and medication; however, if left unchecked, it can lead to serious health issues.
The Physicians Medical Primary Care team wants you to be aware of the consequences so you can take the appropriate steps to lower your blood pressure and avoid them. Here are a few of the dangers of hypertension:
The increased pressure of the blood against the artery walls can damage them, causing them to be more susceptible to collecting fats from your diet, so the walls become less elastic, and blood flow is limited.
The pressure can also weaken the artery wall, so it bulges and creates an aneurysm. If this ruptures, the bleeding could be life-threatening.
Your brain needs a good blood supply to work properly. If this supply disruption occurs by high blood pressure, you could have a mini-stroke or a full-blown stroke. Blood vessels could rupture, or clots could form, leading to these strokes.
Limited blood flow can also cause vascular dementia, and high blood pressure can also lead to mild cognitive impairment.
Arteries damaged by high blood pressure will deliver less blood to the heart. If the flow is too little, it could lead to chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, or even a heart attack. High blood pressure also forces the heart to work harder, which can cause the left ventricle to thicken, increasing the risk of heart attack or cardiac arrest. The increased strain can also cause heart failure.
Kidneys filter excess fluid and waste from the blood, so high blood pressure damages the blood vessels and can lead to kidney scarring and even kidney failure.
High blood pressure can also damage the tiny, delicate blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause blurred or distorted vision or a complete loss of vision. Limited blood flow caused by high blood pressure can also cause erectile dysfunction if blood is blocked from flowing to the penis.
As you can see, hypertension puts you at serious risk for many health issues. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, contact the team at Physicians Medical Primary Care for help. Just call one of our three offices in San Jose or book an appointment online. Don’t wait — your health is too important to delay.