Things you need to know
- High blood pressure or hypertension is a chronic condition in which blood pressure levels rise against artery walls.
- It is important to understand the risk of high blood pressure and monitor it everyday to avoid complications.
- High blood pressure can be effectively controlled through lifestyle measures such as physical activity, healthy eating and avoiding sedentary lifestyle.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition. In this condition, the blood pressure levels in your body increase highly. The increased levels of blood pressure push against the artery walls leading to further health concerns and problems.
There are two factors to determine your blood pressure levels – the amount of blood pumped by your heart and the amount of resistance to the flow of blood in your arteries. If your heart pumps a higher amount of blood and your arteries become comparatively narrow, then you will experience high blood pressure.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
High blood pressure symptoms depend on the levels of blood flow. Sometimes, there are no noticeable hypertension symptoms which makes it difficult for patients to seek timely treatment.
However, some common symptoms associated with high blood pressure include:
What causes high blood pressure
The causes of high blood pressure depend upon its type. There are two types of high blood pressure:
Primary hypertension – This type of hypertension develops gradually over time and does not have an exact cause
Secondary hypertension – This type of hypertension is caused by an underlying condition. Unlike primary hypertension, this type appears almost immediately and can be more problematic. Common conditions leading to secondary hypertension include obstructive sleep apnea, kidney disease, thyroid, congenital blood vessel defects and the use of certain medications.
Risk factors of high blood pressure
Hypertension can affect any individual at any age. However, some people are more prone to developing this condition than others. The common risk factors for people include:
- Old age
- Family history of the disease
- Tobacco consumption
- An unhealthy diet filled with higher sodium and potassium levels
- Chronic conditions like kidney disease
Management of high blood pressure
Since high blood pressure is usually asymptomatic, it is essential for high-risk patients to seek a routine assessment. This condition can be diagnosed with the help of blood pressure measurements and other lab tests.
Hypertension is treated with a combination of medicinal treatment and lifestyle modifications. It is a chronic condition and requires long-term treatment so that normal blood pressure levels can be maintained in patients.
If you suffer from hypertension, you should eat healthy foods, limit your salt intake, maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking.
Blood pressure is considered normal if it’s below 120/80 mm Hg.
Common complications include heart attack, heart failure, narrowed blood vessels in the eyes and trouble with memory and concentration.