The risks of untreated hypertension

Hypertension is often undiagnosed and is extremely damaging because most people don’t have any symptoms until they are in a crisis.

Often a person only experiences a mild headache or occasional dizziness and then suddenly the doctor is telling them that they have hypertension and it has already caused other problems.. Getting diagnosed and keeping your blood pressure controlled can help prevent a crisis situation and it can decrease your risks of serious complications such as heart attacks, congestive heart failure, damage to blood vessels, kidney damage/failure, stroke/brain damage, and loss of vision.

Imagine that you have a water hose and you leave it outside all the time exposed to the elements and getting stiffer. Most of the time you just use the hose at a slow trickle to water the plants but today you need it to clean off the driveway. You turn that hose on full blast and suddenly it springs a hole (or two). You quickly turn it off before you become soaked. This is the same thing with your blood vessels. If you do not control your hypertension it is like leaving the hose outside in the elements, eventually it will break down and spring a leak.

Rarely, in approximately 1% of those diagnosed with hypertensive disease the uncontrolled hypertension can lead to what is called malignant hypertension. This is blood pressure that is extremely high and causes swelling of the optic nerve (behind the eye). This is considered a medical emergency. Besides your eyes, many of your other important organs are also in serious risk of injury including your brain, heart, and kidneys.

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