Hypertension – How Dangerous Are the Complications?

The complications of hypertension are so dangerous that a lot has to be done to get them prevented. There are a few complications that gradually set in when one is hypertensive and with time they affect several organs of the body thereby posing a serious health threat to the sufferer.

Some of these known complications are:

1. Myocardial infarction: This is the necrosis or death of a part of the myocardium due to sustained inadequate blood supply to that portion. When the coronary arteries become narrowed as a result of changes in their walls and lumen it becomes increasingly difficult for blood to get to the myocardium of the heart. This subsequently leads to the death of the myocardium, a complication otherwise referred to as myocardial infarction.

2. Enlargement of the heart: This complication is brought about by an attempt made by the heart to overcome the peripheral resistance put up by the blood vessels. As the heart stresses itself to supply more blood to the organs the myocardium becomes enlarged (a condition known as myocardial hypertrophy), this eventually leads to overall enlargement of the heart (cardiomegaly) and its inability to pump out blood efficiently and effectively.

3. Heart failure: The inability of the heart to effectively and efficiently pump out blood to the rest parts of the body as a result of a weakness in the contractility of the myocardium leads to its failure. The failure of the heart brings about a further short supply in oxygen and nutrients supply to the organs.

4. Stroke: This is bleeding into the brain as a result of a rupture in the blood vessels of the brain. When stroke or cerebro-vascular accident occurs in a part of the cerebrum, the side of the body opposite the affected part becomes partially or totally paralyzed, leading to difficulty in movement, slurred and incoherent speech, etc.

5. Kidney problem: Poor blood supply to and changes within the blood vessels of the kidneys also bring about renal complication such as nephrosclerosis and chronic pyelonephritis.

6. Retinal damage: The retina of the eyes may also suffer one form of complication or the other. The chronic pathological changes in the tiny vessels of the eyes coupled with increasing blood pressure lead to a rupture and bleeding into the retina. This in the long run may lead to partial or total blindness or other form of retinopathy.