Hypertension - An Overview

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Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” – this is because people living with the condition often feel well and have no obvious symptoms. However, the high pressure is still causing damage to your blood vessels and organs, without you being aware of it. Therefore you need to make sure that your blood pressure is controlled (at the right level, as advised by your doctor).

 

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

A certain amount of pressure is needed in the blood vessels in order for the blood to travel from the heart to the rest of the body. High blood pressure is when that pressure throughout the arteries is persistently high. Blood pressure normally fluctuates, so high blood pressure is diagnosed when it remains high on several occasions.

 

WHAT DOES A BLOOD PRESSURE READING MEAN?

A blood pressure measurement consists of two numbers, a systolic (top number) and a diastolic (bottom number). A systolic blood pressure indicates when the heart contracts, this reading is always higher then the diastolic. Whereas the diastolic blood pressure indicates relaxation of the heart between beats.

High blood pressure can be improved by making changes in your lifestyle and consistently taking your medication.

 

SYMPTOMS

As mentioned before, hypertension rarely has any symptoms or visible signs to warn you that your blood pressure is high. In some cases, usually when the blood pressure is severely high, there are symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbance
  • Nose bleeds
  • Nausea

Do not wait for symptoms to appear before seeking medical attention! Attend your checkups regularly and do not stop medication without talking to your doctor first.

 

Article written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

 

Reference:Muntner P, Carey RM, Gidding S, et al. Potential US Population Impact of the 2017 ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure Guideline. Circulation 2018; 137:109.


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