Blood pressure is defined as pressure that is exerted by the blood on blood vessels and arteries. Blood pressure varies amongst people for a variety of different reasons including the efficiency of the heart, blood volume, the age and health of the individual, and the condition of the vascular wall.
Blood pressure can be considered the strength of the blood pushing against the blood vessels. When a person has high blood pressure, there is an extra strain put on the arteries, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems.
Blood pressure measurements are taken in numbers and are shown with one number on top of the other. The first (or top) number is known as systolic pressure, which is the highest level a person’s blood pressure reaches when their heart beats. The second (or bottom) number is known as diastolic blood pressure and is what blood pressure reaches when the heart relaxes between beats.
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It is not something a person is typically aware of, until they have their blood pressure measured by a medical professional. When a person has high blood pressure it indicates the arteries are repeatedly receiving too much pressure.
There are millions of people that suffer from high blood pressure worldwide. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to several different medical problems including vision loss, kidney failure, heart failure, and stroke.
While there isn’t a single identifiable cause that leads to high blood pressure, it is believed to be causes by several different factors. These include:
The treatment a person receives for high blood pressure is dependent on its severity and other various factors. Typical treatment for high blood pressure is as follows:
Low levels of high blood pressure: Typical treatment includes making lifestyle changes. A person may be advised to change their diet, stop smoking and drinking, and get more regular exercise.
Medium levels of high blood pressure: When a person is suffering from moderately high blood pressure, they might be prescribed medication, as well as advised to make lifestyle changes.
Severely high blood pressure levels: When an individual experiences severely high blood pressure levels, they will typically be recommended to a cardiologist.
Lifestyle changes are often recommended by most medical professionals for patients who have high blood pressure. Typical lifestyle changes will include: getting regular exercise (3-4 days a week), losing weight, dietary changes, lowered alcohol consumption, stopping smoking, lessening caffeine intake, engaging in various relaxation techniques, and getting regular, adequate sleep.
High blood pressure: Causes, symptoms, and treatments, Christian Nordqvist, Medical News Today, February 2017
What is blood pressure?, Blood Pressure UK
High blood pressure (hypertension), Mayo Clinic