Hypertension is a persisting condition that is caused due to the application of high force on the walls of the arteries in the heart. The main cause of hypertension is the thinning of the arteries which restrict blood flow and increases the pressure of the blood.
The normal human blood pressure known as the systolic pressure, when the heart pumps blood into the arteries is 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The normal blood pressure when the heart is at rest between the heart’s beat, known as diastolic pressure, is 80 mm Hg.
In case the pressure reading rises from the normal measure, then the patient is at risk of developing the condition of hypertension. A blood pressure of equivalent to or over 140/90 mmHg is too high and determines that the person has high blood pressure.
The various underlying factors that contribute to high blood pressure are as follows-
- Age- With growing age, the elasticity of the blood vessels becomes low. This majorly contributes to narrowing of the vessels, giving way for high blood pressure.
- Family history and genetics- Family history plays a vital role in high blood pressure as it is often hereditary and is transferred from one generation to the other.
- Heightened stress levels- One of the major factors accredited to make an individual susceptible to having high blood pressure is a heightened level of stress.
- A large amount of salt in food or poor food habits- Consuming food with an increased amount of salt (sodium) tends to make the body retain water. This can also lead to an increase in the level of blood pressure.
- Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise- Individuals with an inactive lifestyle tend to have higher blood pressure. This is because their heart rate is higher and there is excess pressure on their arteries.
- Being overweight- Having excess weight requires extra blood to supply nutrients and oxygen to the body parts. With the increase in the blood flow, the pressure on the walls of the arteries also increases.
- Regular Alcohol consumption (in excessive amounts) – Consumption of alcohol in excess amounts directly affects the heart and can adversely affect the blood pressure of an individual.
- Smoking- Use of tobacco or related products is known to cause harm to the walls of the arteries and may even result in constricting the arteries in size. This increase the risk of contracting a heart-related ailment. Smoking also negatively impacts blood pressure.
- Long-term sleep deprivation- Lack of a proper sleep cycle disrupts the normal functioning of the body and may even lead to high blood pressure.
- Pregnancy (Rare) -Pregnancy may also contribute to hypertension as some females tend to have higher blood pressure during pregnancy.
In most cases, hypertension is generally a ‘silent’ condition that does not show any symptoms unless the condition becomes very severe and extreme. Patients may have high blood pressure and not acknowledge it for a long duration of time. The only way to ascertain the existence of this condition is to get a regular checkup. If diagnosed on time, the doctor may prescribe medicines such as Telma 40 and Target 40 which help in keeping the blood pressure controlled and in check.
A few of the signs and symptoms that may surface in patients at a later stage of suffering from the condition are-
- A severe headache- Patients with high blood pressure often complain of having shooting pains in different parts of their head.
- Fatigue or confusion- Having high blood pressure generally causes disruption of sleep patterns. This creates unrest in the patient and may even cause a state of fatigue or confusion.
- Vision problems- High blood pressure may end up damaging or causing disruption in the blood vessels supplying blood to the eyes. This has a possibility of causing blurred vision, bloodshot in eyes, bleeding from the eyes or even permanent damage to the eyesight.
- Chest pain- High blood pressure occurs when the pressure of the blood passing through the arteries increases due to the resistance by narrowing down of arteries. This pressure causes chest pain and can even lead to various heart diseases.
- Difficulty breathing- The strain on the heart increase as a result of high blood pressure which causes the improper supply of oxygen through the body. The lungs are unable to function to their maximum capacity, causing the patient to have difficulty in breathing.
- Irregular Heartbeat-The heart muscles become very weak because of excessive pressure applied to them. This is also caused by a buildup of plaque in the vessels.
- Blood in the urine-High blood pressure contributes to various kidney-related illnesses. This cause the urine output to decline and may also result in the passing of blood in the urine in severe cases.
- Pounding in your chest, neck, or ears- As the blood vessels become narrow due to multiple causes of hypertension, the patient often feels thumping like sensations in the chest, neck, and ears.
Even if symptoms occur, patients can often misdiagnose their condition and medicate themselves for relieving the symptoms without realizing the severity of the situation. If hypertension is left undiagnosed for a long duration of time then there is a possibility of serious damage to the blood vessels and the heart. Thus, it is always advised to consult a doctor at the first sign of any symptom relating to high blood pressure.