Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure. It increases the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and death. Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood pushing against the vessels through the body. The pressure depends on the work that the heart is doing and the condition of the vessels in the body.
High blood pressure, according to medical guidelines set by the American Heart Association, is anything higher than 130 over 80. According to the CDC, around 75 million adults in America, around one in three, have high blood pressure. Both hypertension and heart disease are two of the most prevalent diseases throughout the country.
Causes and risk factors
It is often not known what causes hypertension, though there is speculation on some underlying causes. Around one in 20 cases of hypertension is due to a medication the person is taking or an underlying condition. One of the most common is chronic kidney disease.
There are also risk factors that can make some more prone to developing hypertension than others:
- The overall lifetime risk is the same for men and women, but women are more prone to it later in life, while men get it earlier
- Being overweight or obese can cause hypertension
- Those who are over the age of 60 have a heightened risk of the condition because of the buildup of plaque in the vessels
- Smoking tobacco can increase the chances
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also cause blood pressure to rise
- Any existing health condition, especially cardiovascular issues or diabetes, can put a person at a greater risk
- High intake of salty, fatty foods
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Highly stressful lifestyle
Often, hypertension is known as a "silent killer" because those suffering from it rarely see any symptoms at all. By going undetected and unmanaged, it can cause a great deal of damage in the body without the person knowing. The internal organs, as well as the cardiovascular system, can be attacked and start to shut down over time. It is important that a person regularly have their blood pressure checked to make sure they are healthy.
Some symptoms could include heightened anxiety, blushing, sleeping problems and sweating, though these may not be seen in everyone and might not be signs of high blood pressure. Headaches and nosebleed are often seen during a hypertensive crisis. A person must find help immediately in this situation.
There are many complications that arise when a person has high blood pressure. However, these complications can be lessened if a person manages their blood pressure levels.
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack or failure
- Hypertensive retinopathy, which leads to blindness
What is the bottom line?
There are ways to manage hypertension and reduce the blood pressure in a person. Most have to follow a strict diet, get plenty of exercise and rest, reduce stress and quit smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol to reduce their blood pressure levels. Visiting a healthcare physician for routine care is recommended for everyone to watch their blood pressure levels.
Call us to schedule an appointment
Find out more about hypertension, what to expect and how it is treated by speaking with a healthcare provider. Get checked regularly and eat a healthy diet.
Call us at (410) 849-4212 for more information from Bel Air Family Care to reduce the chances of having any blood pressure complications.