Untreated or poorly managed high blood pressure can cause serious and even life threatening issues. It can damage your blood vessels as well as your organs. The longer your hypertension goes untreated, the more it can damage your body and affect your health.
Potential complications of high blood pressure include:
Heart attack and stroke. Ongoing hypertension can cause your arteries to thicken and harden, which can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Heart failure. When your arteries are thickened and hardened, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. This can cause your heart muscle to thicken and eventually lead to heart failure.
Aortic aneurysm. Elevated blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and balloon out in the weakened spot, allowing an aneurysm to form. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life threatening.
Kidney failure. High blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries around your kidneys. This can affect how well your kidneys are able to filter your blood.
Vision loss. Elevated blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your eyes.
Peripheral artery disease. Hardened arteries can make it more difficult for blood to reach parts of your body that are further away from your heart, like your legs and feet.
Sexual dysfunction. High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction in men and lower libido in women.
Vascular dementia. Narrowed or hardened arteries can restrict blood flow to your brain, which, in turn, can increase your risk of a type of dementia known as vascular dementia. This type of dementia can also be caused by a stroke.