What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the arterial walls when the heart pumps blood into them. This pressure is a factor of the force with which heart pumps blood and the size and condition of the arteries. Blood pressure is measured as systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure occurs when the heart pumps blood or beats and diastolic pressure is when the heart is at rest between beats.
Blood pressure measurement units are mmhg or millimetres of mercury. Recommended systolic pressure is less than 130 mmHg and diastolic pressure is less than 80mmHg. If your systolic readings are between 120-139 or diastolic readings are 80-89 then you are at risk of developing high blood pressure. If your blood pressure measurements are consistently higher than these numbers then you are said to have hypertension or high blood pressure.
What are the causes of hypertension?
Hypertension can be caused by the following factors:
- Excessive salt intake
- arteriosceloris / atheriosclerosis (plaque in arteries)
- Alcohol and drug use
- Kidney disease
- Birth control medication
- Genetic factors
Hypertension can also occur without cause.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
Generally hypertension causes no symptoms. Hence its name - 'the silent killer'. However in severe cases the following symptoms can occur
- Chest pain
- Buzzing in the ear
- Irregular heartbeat
- Bleeding from the nose
- Eyesight problems
What complications can hypertension cause?
Hypertension can cause heart attacks, stroke, renal failure, congestive heart failure, loss of vision.