Generally, people with high blood pressure don't realize that it is high. It's the long-term high blood pressure effects that cause the problems. High blood pressure (HBP) causes problems over many years. Left untreated and HBP will cause long term medical conditions. It affects the whole body. HBP side effects can lead to serious medical conditions, disability and even death.
HBP affects the small blood vessels in the body's organs. The organs and tracts of the body that long-term HBP, also known as chronic high blood pressure, affects most include:
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Arteries
Healthy arteries should be very flexible with a lot of elasticity. Also, the inner lining of a blood vessel should be smooth for blood to flow unobstructed on its way to supply tissue and organs with oxygen and other nutrients. If there is HBP in the arteries, it can cause many problems. Chronic HBP makes the arteries throughout the body become hard especially those in the heart, brain, and kidneys. This, in turn, causes these organs to work harder. Other high BP effects on the arteries include:
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Heart
The heart pumps blood that contains oxygen and other nutrients throughout the whole body. Chronic HBP can damage the heart in a number of ways. One is by causing the inside of the blood vessels to get smaller and harder therefore causing the pressure inside to increase. This makes the heart work harder to get blood through the blood vessels. The heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle in the body making it work harder makes the heart grow bigger. A bigger heart is not as good as it sounds. The heart gets stretched out from growing larger. With the heart working harder to pump, small amounts of blood can remain within the heart. This causes the heart to weaken because it cannot continue to pump any harder against the pressure in the blood vessels. When the heart can no longer pump all the blood out, heart failure occurs. This is known as congestive heart failure.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Brain
Chronic HBP can damage the brain through a stroke. A stroke is characterized by a blockage preventing blood from flowing and providing oxygen to the brain or by an artery leaking blood into the brain.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Kidneys
The kidneys are essential organs that can be seriously hurt by the long term effects of HBP. If the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys are narrowed, the kidneys will not get the blood it needs to function and the kidneys will steadily lose its capability to function.
Chronic High Blood Pressure Effects on the Eyes
HBP can also cause changes within the eyes. Chronic HBP threatens the blood vessels in the eyes at by:
The by-product of these is impaired vision which can lead to blindness. With HBP blood vessels in the eyes may burst or bleed. As a result eyesight may become cloudy or impaired.
Chronic HBP affects the blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. This is why someone with chronic HBP is at serious risk for heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.