What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough to cause health problems, such as heart disease. However, blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
What causes high blood pressure?
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several things may play a role, including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Salt in the diet
- Alcohol consumption
- Older age
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Adrenal and thyroid disorders
- Sleep apnea
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. However, when symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Early morning headaches
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Vision changes
- Buzzing in the ears
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or weakness
- Difficulty speaking
Severe hypertension can cause fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors.
When to consult a doctor?
If your blood pressure gets too high, specifically 180/120 or higher, and you relate to the symptoms listed above, please consult your doctor.