High blood pressure side effects result from excessive pressure on the walls of the blood vessels in the body. Hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure, is a chain reaction that begins in the body when small blood vessels narrow and become less flexible. Over time, blood flow will exert increased pressure on the walls of the vessels as they become increasingly more narrow and rigid. High blood pressure side effects might damage many of the systems and organs in the body. Serious side effects and complications from high blood pressure might include damage to the heart, the coronary artery system, the brain, the kidneys and the eyes.
Heart disease caused by high blood pressure side effects is considered the most serious complication that an individual suffering from hypertension might face. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death associated with high blood pressure. High blood pressure side effects on the heart include ischemic heart disease or insufficient blood flow to the heart caused by narrow arteries. Hypertension might also cause heart failure. It becomes increasingly more difficult for the heart muscle, against higher pressure in blood vessels, to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body, which might result in heart failure.
One of the most potentially serious complications of high blood pressure is atherosclerosis, which is a type of coronary artery disease. The increased pressure on artery walls, along with the narrowing of the artery, makes it easier for plaque to build up in these blood vessels. A harder and less flexible surface to the artery wall not only traps more plaque, it also makes it easier for small blood clots to form. Plaques and blood clots that break off from the artery wall can cause heart attacks and strokes.
High blood pressure side effects also affect the brain. The narrowing and hardening of large arteries in the body eventually weaken the walls of the smaller blood vessels in the brain. These small blood vessels might respond by ballooning and bursting, resulting in a stroke.
A major cause of kidney disease is untreated high blood pressure. Hypertension might harm the small blood vessels and filters in the kidney. This makes removing waste from the body difficult and might result, eventually, in kidney failure.
The eyes are particularly vulnerable to complications from high blood pressure. Hypertension might rupture the very small blood vessels in the retina, which is where images focus. Serious damage to one's sight can result if high blood pressure is not treated.