High blood pressure is known to have disastrous consequences for people who suffer from it. Sometimes people refer to it as the silent killer. That is because it does not have any initial symptoms, but it is known to cause long-term diseases as well as other complications. High blood pressure is medically termed hypertension. Many people could have hypertension, but they may not be aware. It becomes essential, therefore, to be tested as you undertake any physical examination in any medical center.
There is also a need to understand what causes hypertension before understanding the various signs, which come with such a condition. If left unidentified and untreated, hypertension can lead to severe problems, including vision loss, heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke, to mention but a few. Below are some of the causes of hypertension.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
1. Family History
If you come from a family where anyone has experienced high blood pressure, the chances of you developing it increases. An international research study recently identified eight common genetic differences, which could increase the chances of high blood pressure.
2. Overweight and Obesity
Obese and overweight people are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Their risk of developing this condition is higher than it is in healthy weight individuals.
Older people may be at a higher risk of getting hypertension as compared to young people. The aging generation sometimes develops elevated systolic readings. The hardening of arteries or arteriosclerosis could cause such scenarios.
Hypertension is common among adult men as compared to adult women. However, both men and women could be equally susceptible after the age of 60 years.
Smoking is another serious cause of high blood pressure. That is due to its effects in narrowing of the blood vessels in the human body. Smoking is also known to reduce the oxygen content in the blood hence requiring the heart to pump faster to be able to compensate. That results in the high blood pressure effects.
How Can You Tell That You Have High Blood Pressure?
Hypertension is not commonly identified through any symptoms. Therefore, its identification could be possible through some examination. It could also be detected when seeking other medical assistance for unrelated problems. Some people could have headaches, especially at the back of their heads along with vertigo, lightheadedness, tinnitus as well as fainting and altered vision episodes. Such symptoms, however, could be related to anxiety and not hypertension itself.
Hypertension with some specific symptoms and signs could suggest secondary hypertension also known as high blood pressure caused by identifiable causes. For instance, Cushing’s syndrome causes truncal obesity, moon face, glucose intolerance, purple abdominal stretch marks, and the accumulation of fat behind your shoulder or neck.
Secondary hypertension could also be identifiable through weight loss, fast heart rate, tremor, and bulging eyes. Effects such as Renal artery stenosis could be associated with some localized abdominal bruit on either right or left of the midline.
Hypertension that goes up to 180/110 mmHg is considered an emergency and you should seek medical advice immediately. This stage is referred to as the hypertensive crisis stage, and the following symptoms are identifiable:
- Blurred Visions
The below symptoms are indications that your condition is sever and you need to see your doctor for examination and treatment. Additionally, children with high blood pressure could also have some symptoms and signs such as:
- Blurred Vision
- Bells palsy or the inability to control your facial muscles on a given side
Newborn babies with hypertension could also experience the following symptoms and signs:
- Failure to Thrive
- Respiratory Distress
If diagnosed with hypertension, it is crucial to have frequent check-ups. Even if you think your condition is reasonable, it is necessary to have your check-up after every year or more often. If left unchecked and untreated, hypertension could lead to some severe complications.
As mentioned earlier, hypertension can kill an individual or bring a lot of complications if it is not controlled or treated. Sometimes, the excessive pressure on the human artery walls could lead to the damaging of blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular diseases. Other common complications caused by hypertension include:
Lifelong treatment and control of high blood pressure reduce the risks of developing many complications such as blindness, kidney failure, and heart attack among other illnesses. Unlike any other disease that could be treated once, hypertension is expected to undergo several lifetime treatments in an individual’s life. Such lifetime treatment procedures could be effective in lowering your blood pressure readings to normal.