It has been said time and time again that high blood pressure causes Stroke, Kidney disease, Heart disease and Eye damage. We will now examine how this happens.
What is a stroke?
Stroke is a disease that affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke). When that happens, a part of the brain is no longer getting the blood and oxygen it needs, so it starts to die. Your brain controls your movement and thoughts, so a stroke doesn’t only hurt your brain, it also hurts the brain’s ability to think and control body functions. Strokes can affect language, memory and vision as well as cause paralysis and other health issues.
How does high blood pressure cause a stroke?
- High blood pressure damages arteries so they burst or clog more easily.
High blood pressure can damage arteries throughout the body. Weakened arteries in the brain put you at a much higher risk for stroke.
- High blood pressure and ischemic stroke
About 87% of strokes are ischemic strokes. Again, they are caused by narrowed or clogged blood vessels in the brain that cut off the blood flow to brain cells.
Because High blood pressure damages arteries throughout the body, it is critical to keep your blood pressure within a normal range to protect your brain from this often disabling or fatal event.
High blood pressure and hemorrhagic stroke
About 13% of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel ruptures in or near the brain. When a blood vessel ruptures, it can bleed into the deep tissue in the brain or in the space between the brain and the skull.
High blood pressure damages the arteries and can create weak places that rupture easily or thin spots that fill up with blood and balloon out from the artery wall. Chronic HBP or aging blood vessels are the main causes of this type of stroke.
Stroke warning signs
If you have high blood pressure, it is important that you learn and teach those around you of the stroke warning signs. Most damage to stroke victims happens because they (or those who take care of them) were unable to recognize these signs and act on them in good time.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If you notice these signs, call your doctor or any qualified Medical personnel immediately for urgent, emergency medical attention. It’s very important to take immediate action. If given within 3 hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-removing drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.