Hypertension can damage the health of a person in a number of ways. It can severely damage the vital organs of the body. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause fatal conditions. Following are the major damages caused by hypertension to vital organs of the body:
Damage to Heart:
Hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of death linked to hypertension. It includes diseases such as heart failure and ischemic heart disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your heart in many ways by causing:
- Coronary artery disease: Coronary artery disease involves the arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This disease narrows the arteries and does not allow the blood to flow freely through them. This results in chest pain, a heart attack or arrhythmia.
- Enlarged left heart: Hypertension makes it difficult for the heart to work. This causes the thickening and stiffening of the left Therefore, the ability of ventricles to pump blood to the body becomes poor. This condition raises the risk of heart failure, heart attack, and sudden cardiac death.
- Heart failure: Hypertension causes strain on the heart with the passage of time. This makes the heart muscles weak and causes them to work less efficiently. Ultimately, the plagued heart starts to wear out and fail.
Damage to Kidneys
The process by which kidneys filter excess fluid and waste from the blood depends on the blood vessels. Hypertension may cause damage to the blood vessels responsible for this process. This leads to different types of kidney disorder such as:
- Kidney failure: Hypertension has a significant role in causing kidney failure. It can injure the large arteries leading to the kidneys and the tiny blood vessels present in the kidneys. This affects the filtering process of kidneys. Therefore, dangerous levels of fluid and waste accumulate. Eventually, a person may need kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- Kidney scarring: It is a type of kidney damage caused by scarring of the glomeruli, which are tiny clusters of blood vessels present in the kidneys. They filter the fluid and waste from the blood. Kidney scarring makes kidneys unable to filter waste effectively, which leads to kidney failure.
- Kidney artery aneurysm: It refers to the occurrence of a bulge in the wall of a blood vessel leading to the kidney. Its major cause is atherosclerosis. This condition can result in fatal internal bleeding.
Damage to Eyes:
Hypertension injures the delicate blood vessels present in the eyes and causes the swelling of the optic nerve. This results in impaired vision. Permanent vision problems develop when hypertension is left untreated. The brain damage caused due to the occurrence of stroke can result in permanent vision loss.
Damage to Brain:
Hypertension is a major cause of stroke. When an artery in the brain is injured or gets clogged, then it can stop the blood from passing to brain cells. A person can have problems with vision, movement or anything depending on which part of the brain loses blood. The damage can be temporary but it can be permanent if the cells die.
Damage to Genitals:
Erectile dysfunction is more likely to occur in men who have hypertension. Women can also have sexual dysfunction due to hypertension. Hypertension can decrease the flow of blood to vagina resulting in reduced sexual desire.