Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure is a chronic medical condition of the heart. Hypertension increases the pressure of the blood in the arteries. In conditions like this the heart needs to work harder than what it works in normal circulation. This medical condition poses a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, heart attack and aortic aneurysm. Hypertension symptoms and effects vary from person to person, depending on the degree of elevation in the blood pressure.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a medical condition which is usually not associated with common symptoms. The symptoms of this condition are identified through a medical process called screening. A large section of patients who suffer from hypertension, complain of headaches- particularly at the back of their head.
Light headedness, buzzing and hissing in the ears (tinnitus), vertigo, fainting or altered vision are some of the symptoms experienced by patients of high blood pressure. However, these symptoms could also be related to anxiety and not high blood pressure.
Physical examinations detect the condition of hypertension, whether hypertensive retinopathy is present in the patient or not. Hypertensive retinopathy is a special medical condition which is detected by examining the optic fundus-located at the rear end of the eye- with the help of opthalmoscopy. The degree of hypertensive retinopathy differs in its severity. Mild conditions of it are however difficult to distinguish from one another. Opthalmoscopy helps us to find out how much or how long a person has been suffering from hypertensive conditions.
Effects of Hypertension
Hypertension damages the body, even before the symptoms of this condition starts showing up. This particular medical condition poses major risk to the arteries, heart, brain and kidneys.
- Arteries: Hypertension increases the pressure of the circulation of blood in the arteries, causing various problems like narrowing of the arteries and aneurysm. Fats from the diet get deposited on the walls of the arteries making them thick and stiff. This causes hindrance in the circulation of blood and consequently leading to angina, heart failure, heart attack, stroke etc. The circulation of blood through weak arteries causes bulging in the walls of the arteries. This particular condition is known as aneurysm.
- Heart: Increased pressure in circulation of the blood leads to damaging of the heart in ways like coronary heart disease, enlargement of left heart valve and also failure of the heart. These are life threatening and can cause sudden cardiac death.
- Brain: Hypertension causes problems in the brain like stroke, dementia, Transient Ischemic Attack and also cognitive impairment of the brain. It hampers the cognitive actions of the brain like thinking, reasoning, sight movement etc.
- Kidneys: High blood pressure affects blood vessels leading to various nephropathy diseases. These nephropathy diseases include kidney scarring, kidney failure and kidney artery aneurysm. All these conditions are life threatening as they can rupture the blood vessels causing internal bleeding.