Diet and Nutrition

Why Is High Blood Pressure Deadly?

Why Is High Blood Pressure Deadly?

Key Takeaways

  • High blood pressure is known as the silent killer. 
  • Although high blood pressure may seem quite harmless initially, it can lead to deadly complications. 
  • High blood pressure gradually leads to serious complications, like heart attacks, congestive heart failure, aneurysm, etc. 

Why Is High Blood Pressure Deadly?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the most common cardiovascular problem globally. You may have it for years or even decades before it kills you, but it is indeed deadly. When left unnoticed, in rare instances it can even kill you within weeks or months. You may wonder how high blood pressure could possibly kill somebody and how can it be spotted through its symptoms. The fact is that high blood pressure is often silent, signifying that it hardly shows any signs or symptoms in most people. For this reason, high blood pressure is labeled the ‘silent killer.' A study reported that in today’s times, a lesser portion of the population is dying from heart diseases and stroke, but deaths caused by high blood pressure are on the rise. These days hypertension is being seen more in younger age groups than the older ones.

High blood pressure is where the systolic blood pressure exceeds 140 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure is over 90 mmHg. Although high blood pressure can affect many different organs, including the kidneys and eyes, it is the damage to the blood vessels, the heart, and the brain that eventually leads to death. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to regularly have your blood pressure checked, as most of the time there are no obvious symptoms, but certain physical traits and lifestyle choices can put you at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure. While there is no cure for high blood pressure, with proper treatment and management, you can be rest assured to live a long and healthy life.

If you care to observe carefully, then the deadly complications of high blood pressure are usually not that silent. If you are observant, you may be able to detect the first symptoms of these killer diseases and seek treatment as soon as possible. However, never try to silence them or wait for them to become evident. Always screen for high blood pressure through tests, irrespective of your age, body weight, lifestyle factors, and family history. High blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms, but it is deadly nonetheless. It’s also called the ‘silent killer’ for this reason, not because of the problems it causes, but for those it leads to. On its own, high blood pressure can last for years and even decades without being noticed, but it eventually it leads to serious complications down the line. Since high blood pressure affects the blood vessels, most areas of the body can be affected, since they are all connected. Some of the serious complications that make high blood pressure deadly include the following.

Heart Attacks and Congestive Heart Failure

As high blood pressure develops, the blood vessels become wider, stretching their walls and becoming stiffer and harder. These conditions make the flow of blood within the vessels difficult, because most of the pressure generated by the heartbeat is lost. To cover the deficit in pressure, the heart becomes enlarged to pump blood harder, and that’s when the situation becomes worse. Over time, blood vessels will require more and more pressure, and the heart will grow bigger and bigger, eventually being unable to effectively pump blood, hence leading to heart failure. Due to insufficient supply of oxygen to body organs, the heart itself may lack enough oxygen, and this causes a heart attack, because the heart muscles require oxygen to function.

Other heart complications are also bound to happen as a result of high blood pressure, including cardiac arrhythmia when the heart temporarily loses its rhythm and ‘skips a few beats.’ All these complications affecting the heart are deadly, and in most cases, they can cause death as a result, making high blood pressure a very deadly condition. The sole way to avoid this situation is to not wait for a doctor to advise you to go in for a test. Rather, you should yourself go and conduct a regular health checkup every four to six months, just to see if your body is actually progressing or not.

Aneurysms and Atherosclerosis

An aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel bulges and bursts, spilling blood. The bulging of blood vessels to the point where an aneurysm occurs does not happen on its own, since blood vessels are usually flexible and can accommodate moderate expansion. With high blood pressure, however, blood vessels become hardened due to increased pressure, and they can’t dilate when needed. This condition is referred to as arteriosclerosis. Although a number of medications are available to cure this problem, the best cure lies in trusting your doctor and going with what he prescribes you to do. Never stress yourself in such situations, as anxiety and depression may worsen the condition. The increase of blood pressure within the vessels also poses an increased force on the vessel walls, and this may lead to bulges at points of weakness. This bulge keeps growing over time and eventually bursts if high blood pressure is not controlled. These aneurysms can occur at any point of the vascular system, and they are usually deadly, especially if they occur around a major organ like the brain.

Blindness and Trouble with Vision

All blood vessels in the body can be affected by high blood pressure, but the vessels in the eye are especially vulnerable, because they are so small. When an aneurysm occurs in the blood vessels within the eye, the individual may lose their sight and become blind. To avoid this, the patient must always indulge in a heavy mineral, iron-based diet to ensure that his eyesight remains intact.

Diabetes

High blood pressure can also lead to the development of diabetes, which can lead to a myriad of problems. Furthermore, diabetes is usually genetic, and that may pose a risk in the children of the individual suffering from hypertension.

Final Thoughts

Although high blood pressure may seem quite harmless initially, it can lead to deadly complications. This is why it is advisable to get your blood pressure regularly checked if you are above 20 years old, and take necessary steps to lower the blood pressure