The commonest question faced by any Doctor when he/she prescribes medicines for high blood pressure is “Why should I take these medicines without any symptoms or problems, and that too for life long ?” We need to remember that acute stroke, heart attack or even death can be the first manifestation of underlying high blood pressure. Can we wait for such serious symptoms to appear ? We must understand that treatment of high blood pressure is to prevent such complications which may arise sooner or later if blood pressure is not well treated.
Chronic uncontrolled blood pressure or in certain cases, acute elevation of blood pressure can damage many vital organs permanently. Few of the important complications are :
- Brain : Stroke (Paralysis) due to rupture of blood vessel or formation of a blood clot in the artery.
- Eyes : Damage to the retina (retinopathy).
- Heart : Increased thickness of the walls (hypertrophy), angina or heart attack due to clotting in the arteries, enlargement or weakening of the heart (heart failure).
- Kidneys : Damage to kidneys leading to leakage of protein in urine (proteinuria and kidney failure).
- Damage to limbs, intestines,liver, etc. due to blood clotting and fat deposition in the arteries (atherosclerosis) supplying blood to these organs.