In simple terms, Hypertension refers to high blood pressure. The normal or ideal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg in a healthy adult. The blood pressure is maintained by a number of mechanisms operative withinn the body throughout a human’s life. However, at times these mechanisms fail and hypertension occurs. When blood pressure reading is above 140/90 mmHg, it is considered as high blood pressure.
Most people ignore hypertension and its impact on the overall health of the individuals. Most physicians refer to Hypertension as a Silent Killer as there are no noticeable sign and symptoms of high blood pressure in most people. But persistent high blood pressure damages all major organs and systems of the body.
Most deadly effect of Hypertension is on following organ systems:
Effects of High Blood Pressure on Kidney:
High Blood pressure affects the blood vessels of kidney by damaging the small arteries. Because of high blood pressure, kidney failure occurs in many individuals. The process of kidney failure start by inability of kidneys to excrete waste products from the blood and rising Urea levels in the blood
How can you save your kidneys?
Maintaining blood pressure under optimal range is the only way to save your kidneys. Apart from that, it is recommended to get Kidney Function Tests done at least once in every 6 months to detect early kidney damage.
Effects of High Blood Pressure on Brain:
Likewise, high blood pressure beyond 160/100 mmHg is a serious threat to the integrity of brain arteries which may burst anytime due to extra build-up of pressure. If a large blood vessel is torn, symptoms of stroke ensue; however if minute branches burst, slow brain damage leads to Alzheimer’s disease and changes in intellectual brain functioning.
How can you save your brain from damage?
Besides effective control of blood pressure, regular exercise and healthy low salt diet are of great importance in preventing damage to blood veseels in the brain. It is also advised to keep Blood Cholesterol levels too in strict control.
Effects of High Blood Pressure on Eyes:
Blood vessels of Retina are directly affected by hypertensive changes that may even lead to complete loss of vision. Aside from damaging blood vessels of eye, high blood pressure also lead to retinal separation (a condition that leads to permanent blindness)
How can you save your vision?
It is highly recommended that all hypertensive must go through a six-monthly ophthalmologic (eye) examination by an eye-specialist. Moreover, if your blood pressure is high despite behavioral modification, you must take medications as advised by your doctor. Any negligence in this regard may lead to harmful side effects.
Effect of High Blood pressure on Heart:
The most significant and harmful effect of high blood pressure is on blood vessels of heart that gradually weakens. Moreover, as heart has to push blood against a higher pressure to distant organs like foot, it may collapse leading to heart failure.
How can you save your heart from failing?
To save your heart, consume a healthy diet, avoid cigarette smoking and quit drinking alcohol. See your physician regularly and avoid sedentary life-style.