What is hypertension?
Hypertension is also known as high blood pressure, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. High blood pressure, is when your blood travels through blood vessels with more force than is consider in a healthy state. When the blood pressure rate is high, it can damage artery and blood vessel walls over time. High blood pressure, or hypertension, leads to dangerous complications and even death if left untreated.
The accurate rate of blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The flow of more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A blood pressure reading is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It can be classified into two types.
- Systolic pressure (top number): The top, or upper number, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heartbeats.
- Diastolic pressure (bottom number): The bottom, or lower number, measures the pressure in your arteries between beats.
Symptoms of hypertension
However, most people with high blood pressure problems have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
Some people with high blood pressure may have headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds problems. But, these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until the high blood pressure rate has reached a severe or life-threatening stage. Some symptoms of hypertension may include:-
- Severe headaches
- Vision problems
- Chest pain problems
- Breathing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine etc.
Possible causes of hypertension
Mainly, there are two types of high blood pressure.
1. Primary (essential) hypertension:-
For most adults, there’s no identifiable cause of high blood pressure (HBP). This kind of high blood pressure, called primary (essential) hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years.
2. Secondary hypertension:-
This kind of high blood pressure, called secondary hypertension, tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension. In the same kind, various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:-
- Kidney disease
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- Certain primary medications, such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, and some prescription drugs
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
High blood pressure (hypertension) has many risk factors, including:-
- Age: The risk of hypertension increases as you age. However, until about age 64, high blood pressure (hypertension) is more common in men. After age 65, women are more likely to develop high blood pressure problems.
- Family history: High blood pressure (hypertension) tends to run in families.
- Being overweight: If you have an overweight problem, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the amount of blood blows through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls.
- Not being physically active: Inactive people tend to have higher heart rates. In the same kind, lack of physical activity also increases the risk of being overweight.
- Using tobacco: Tobacco using behavior, like smoking or chewing immediately raises your blood pressure, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. Tobacco can cause your arteries to narrow and increase your risk of heart disease.
- Drinking too much alcohol: Too much drinking can damage your heart. More than one drink a day for women and more than two drinks a day for men may affect your blood pressure. However, for healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
When to see a doctor
Contact your health professional for a blood pressure reading at least every two years starting at age 18. In the same kind, if you’re age 40 or older, or you’re 18 to 39 with a high risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading every year.