In our last post, we talked about hypertension in detail. We specifically discussed what hypertension is, and today, we are going to talk about its symptoms and consequences. Read on!
Symptoms of Hypertension
The silent course of arterial hypertension, as well as the silent course of developing type 2 diabetes, means that patients do not visit a doctor for years, and therefore do not have a chance to diagnose and promptly implement treatment.
The symptoms of high blood pressure usually only appear when blood pressure reaches very high values, although this is not a rule. Sometimes the symptoms never appear. That is why it is so important to control blood pressure values prophylactically, e.g., during visits to a family doctor’s office. Ailments that should worry us and that may be related to high blood pressure include:
- Headache and dizziness;
- heart palpitations;
- facial flushing and hot flushes;
- decrease in mental and physical fitness.
Other signs of hypertension appear in the later stages of the disease and result from organ damage caused by abnormal blood pressure values. Therefore, these are not so many symptoms of hypertension itself but of complications caused by the lack of treatment of hypertension.
Complications of Untreated Hypertension:
- Blurred vision;
- decrease in intellectual performance;
- sensory or motor deficits;
- limb swelling;
- kidney function disorders;
- impaired exercise tolerance.
Each of the symptoms mentioned above should lead us to visit a doctor, during which the pressure should be measured.
What Might Be The Consequences of Untreated High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure damages not only blood vessels but also various organs. The higher the blood pressure and the longer it is left untreated, the greater the damage to the body. The most dangerous complications of hypertension include stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
Early diagnosis of arterial hypertension and prompt treatment implementation help to avoid complications such as:
- Myocardial infarction – this is a necrosis of the heart muscle that occurs when the coronary artery (the artery that feeds the heart’s muscle cells) is closed;
- Heart failure – high blood pressure makes the blood vessels more resistant to the heart. The heart has to pump more blood with more force. This leads to a thickening of the heart walls, which become less well-nourished over time. Consequently, the heart cannot pump enough blood into the vessels to cover the body’s needs. Symptoms of heart failure include: shortness of breath, easy fatigue, confusion;
- Stroke – as in a heart attack, high blood pressure can damage the plaque and create an embolus that, along with the bloodstream, can enter the vessels that supply blood to the brain. When these vessels are closed, necrosis of the brain tissue occurs, and neurological symptoms appear, which, unfortunately, are often irreversible;
- Kidney failure – high blood pressure changes the structure of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Worse blood supply and mechanical damage to these organs lead to their inferior function so that harmful metabolic products remain and are not excreted in the body;
- Hypertensive retinopathy – This is a disease of the retina in which high pressure damages the vessels that supply blood to this important structure. As a result of this damage, intra-retinal hemorrhages occur, which can significantly and irreversibly deteriorate eyesight;
- Aneurysm formation – in high blood pressure, the greatest risk is for aortic dissection aneurysm. This is a defect in the structure of the most important vessel in the human body – the aorta gets damaged. In the event of its damage, e.g., by a sudden pressure surge, the chance of survival is unfortunately small.
Contrary to appearances, arterial hypertension does not affect only the cardiovascular system but can also manifest itself in eye or kidney diseases. Hypertension in itself is rarely the direct cause of death. Dangerous complications occur as a result of diseases resulting from arterial hypertension.
Did this article help you understand the symptoms and consequences of hypertension? If yes, share it with your friends on social networks and help others as well. If you have any questions, feel free to ask our experts at Chicago Clinical Research Institute Inc. (CCRII).
With this, check our post on the cure and prevention of hypertension.