Hypertension itself usually has no symptoms. An individual can have hypertension for years without knowing it. However, during this time, hypertension can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Thus, some people finally learn that they have hypertension after the damage has caused more severe problems for the heart, kidneys, or other organs of the body. Some of these severe complications include:
- Congestive heart failure. Hypertension can cause the heart to get larger or weaker, which may lead to heart failure.
- Aneurysms. An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery. Common spots for aneurysms are the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body; the arteries in the brain, legs, and intestines; and the artery leading to the spleen.
- Narrowing of blood vessels and arteries. This may cause heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, or amputation of part of the leg.
- Burst blood vessels in the eyes. This may lead to vision changes or blindness.
Knowledge of your blood pressure level is important. By routinely measuring your blood pressure with your doctor, you can work together to maintain a healthy blood pressure level and prevent hypertension from occurring.