High blood pressure also medically known as Hypertension is a condition where the pressure within blood vessels are constantly raised. When the heat is in this state, the heart has to work harder than its normal state to pump blood around the body. The higher the pressure in the vessels, the harder the heart has to pump blood around the body.
The blood pressure when taken usually has two (2) numbers and is measured in mmHg.
- Systolic pressure (Top reading). This usually measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts
- Diastolic pressure (bottom reading). This measures the minimum pressure when the heart is relaxed.
Uncontrolled and persistent high blood pressure can put an individual at risk of heart disease such as heart attacks, peripheral arterial disease, kidney disease, strokes etc. Due to these risk factors, it is recommended that individuals over the age of 40 years without a vascular condition or hypertension should have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension is mostly associated with no symptoms, however individuals can experience some of the following symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Epistaxis (nose bleeds)
- Palpitations – can sometimes fell like flutters, pounding in your heart that can last a few seconds or minutes
Other symptoms which can be indicative of a dangerously high bp include:
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Transient vision loss
- Loss of consciousness