Hypertension is high blood pressure, a very common condition in older adults. Blood pressure is the physical force exerted by the blood as it pushes against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure readings are written in two numbers separated by a line. The top number represents the systolic blood pressure and the bottom number represents the diastolic pressure. The systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts pushing the blood forward. The diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes. 1 in 5 adults have Hypertension in India. 33% of urban Indians are Hypertensive whereas 25% of rural Indians are Hypertensive.
Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure can also damage the walls of the arteries. Over time, hypertension increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Here are the revised 4 blood pressure categories:
- High blood pressure, Stage 1.
- High blood pressure, Stage 2.
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most commonly high blood pressure causes no symptoms at all. This means that people with high blood pressure can be having damage that occur to their heart, kidneys, eyes, and circulation without any symptoms. This makes regular check-up of blood pressure very important.
High blood pressure can impair the function of the kidneys, leading to fluid retention and swelling of the legs, and even kidney failure. High blood pressure can affect the eyes, causing vision loss. High blood pressure can seriously affect the circulation causing pain in the legs with walking, cold feet, and stroke. Fortunately, when high blood pressure is detected early, treated, and monitored, the consequences of high blood pressure can be avoided.
Symptoms of high blood pressure may be present in those who have extremely high blood pressure. Some of the symptoms include:
- Severe headaches.
- Vision problems.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.
Causes of Hypertension
There are several factors that may cause high blood pressure, but the exact cause is unknown. The following factors may increase one’s risk for high blood pressure:
- Overweight or obesity.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Too much salt consumption.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Older age.
- Family history of high blood pressure.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders.
- Sleep apnoea.
Elevated Blood Pressure
An elevated blood pressure reading means that your blood pressure falls just above the normal level, corresponding to a systolic pressure between 120 and 129 or a diastolic pressure of 80 or less.
If elevated blood pressure levels are accompanied by diabetes, kidney disease, or cardiovascular disease, your doctor may suggest blood pressure medication as well as lifestyle changes. If elevated levels are your only condition, lifestyle changes can help prevent blood pressure from rising. Here are a few health tips to help lower your blood pressure:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eating a healthy, low-salt diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking.
- Stay hydrated.
Some facts about High Blood Pressure:
- High blood pressure may be linked to dementia.
- Young people can also have high blood pressure.
- Anxiety causes some of the same symptoms as hypertension.
- High blood pressure usually has no symptoms.
- Many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it.
- High Blood pressure can be life-threatening.
COVID-19 and Hypertension
Having hypertension does not make you more susceptible to COVID-19. However, a person with high blood pressure who gets the virus is more likely to require hospitalisation or even ventilation, as opposed to infected patients without blood pressure. Any co-morbidity or existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension or heart disease may result in a more severe impact of the virus on the body due to a weaker immune system. Those who have high blood pressure and are already on medication may have compromised immunity.
Are you or a family member suffering from Hypertension? Get expert advice and treatment at our Department of Internal Medicine. Please find below website link for more details: