High blood pressure plays a major role in developing serious health issues such as heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 100 million adults in the US have high blood pressure, and close to 25 million remain untreated, despite a recommendation for medication.
Over time, uncontrolled, or poorly controlled hypertension causes major damage to blood vessels throughout the body, leading to serious health issues. At CA Heart and Vein Specialists, Dr. Majed Chane specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, and he can alert you to the dangers of hypertension.
High blood pressure means there’s excess force against your artery walls. While normal blood pressure readings are around 120/80 mmHg, hypertension is defined as having a blood pressure above 130/80 mmHg. There's a good reason hypertension is referred to as a “silent killer.” It rarely causes symptoms as it silently damages the body.
Heart disease and stroke
High blood pressure puts you at significant risk for heart disease and stroke. The extra strain on your heart leads to heart muscle thickening and eventually heart failure. It's also one of the primary causes of stroke, as it can lead to the weakening and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, and in some cases can even cause a blood vessel to burst.
A heart attack or stroke is not only life-threatening but can also lead to long-term disabilities.
Your kidneys are tasked with the important role of filtering waste from your blood. Hypertension can damage the small blood vessels that supply your kidneys, reducing their ability to function effectively. This can lead to a dangerous buildup of fluids and waste in your body.
In severe cases, hypertension can cause kidney failure. In fact, along with diabetes, hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney disease.
The delicate blood vessels in your eyes are also susceptible to damage from high blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to retinopathy, where the blood vessels in the retina become damaged, potentially resulting in blurred vision or blindness. It can also lead to other eye problems such as optic neuropathy and choroidopathy.
Hypertension also has a negative impact on cognitive function. It's associated with an increased risk of developing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
This is especially true if you have uncontrolled hypertension in midlife. High blood pressure can affect your brain's supply of blood, which is crucial for maintaining cognitive abilities.
Prevention and management
The good news is that hypertension is both preventable and manageable. Lifestyle changes are essential for everyone with hypertension.
These include maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet low in sodium, managing stress, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding smoking. For some, medication is necessary to control their blood pressure effectively.
Regular blood pressure checks are vital, especially if you have risk factors for hypertension. Early detection and management can significantly reduce the dangers associated with this condition.
Hypertension is a serious health issue that you shouldn’t take lightly. Its ability to cause widespread damage to your body while remaining largely symptomless makes it particularly dangerous.
With proper care, regular monitoring, and lifestyle adjustments, you can keep your heart and blood vessels as healthy as possible. Prioritize your cardiovascular health by calling 657-206-8491 to schedule a visit with CA Heart and Vein Specialists.