Malignant high blood pressure is a particularly rare but very aggressive and damaging form of hypertension. It causes swelling of the optic nerve and bleeding of the retinas in both eyes and unless treated very quickly can cause very serious and irreversible organ damage. The kidneys and brain are the most vulnerable organs. The former possibly even more, because the kidneys are very sensitive to blood pressure as they have such an important part to play in filtering the blood.
Unlike other types of hypertension, malignant hypertension is usually suffered by younger patients rather than older ones. Patients who have previously suffered medical complications with their kidneys and pregnant women already experiencing pregnancy-induced hypertension are in a high risk category; however it’s important to remember that malignant hypertension only affects a very small percentage of people. Even among people who have high blood pressure, only less than 1% will suffer it.
The symptoms of malignant hypertension are caused by the affects of high blood pressure beginning to damage the most susceptible organs. Damage to the eyes begins with blurred vision, to the kidneys with less urine being produced. If the brain is affected, victims will experience a tingling sensation or numbness and severe headaches.
The key to treating malignant hypertension is to act as fast as possible and get potential victims of it to a hospital to be treated with various blood pressure lowering medications. Once blood pressure reduces to a normal level, sufferers of malignant hypertension often are proscribed ACE inhibitors.