While it may be difficult to tell from the early onset, high blood pressure is a widespread and major contributor to rising risk factors of stroke and heart disease. Also commonly called hypertension, this condition causes the pressure of blood within a patient’s arteries to rise, putting a strain on the cardiovascular system and causing many subsequent problems in other organs. Universally recognized as a major cause of potentially lethal heart disease, hypertension can be a serious and sometimes deadly condition.
However, many people live with high blood pressure and are able to manage it throughout their lives. One of the first steps in effectively managing this condition without allowing its effects to escalate to more serious complications is understanding it, from risk factors to symptoms and treatment. Read on to learn more about high blood pressure, and the best place to begin to get medical help.
What causes high blood pressure?
As with many other medical conditions, high blood pressure can be caused by a number of different factors. Some factors that contribute to the likelihood of hypertension are inevitable, while some are health and lifestyle choices that can greatly increase a patient’s risk of developing it. These factors include the following:
- Age and sex – Men are more likely than women to have high blood pressure until around the age of 64. After that, women are more likely to develop it than men. Across both genders, patients are more likely to develop hypertension the older they get.
- Genetics – A patient’s family medical history can be a significant contributing factor to their likelihood of developing hypertension. If they have a history of high blood pressure, they are at a higher risk of developing it as well.
- Being overweight or obese – The heavier a patient is, the more blood is required to sustain the rest of the body with oxygen and nutrients. Pressure builds as the volume of blood that passes through blood vessels increases, which means that if a patient is overweight or obese, the higher their likelihood of developing hypertension.
- Diet and lifestyle choices – Some diet and lifestyle choices can also be significant contributors to the risk factors of high blood pressure. Consuming substances such as alcohol or tobacco increases this risk, as .well as dietary habits such as consuming too little potassium or too much sodium (salt)
- Stress – Stress affects much more than a patient’s mental state, and studies have shown that chronic stress can have adverse effects on a patient’s physical health. It can contribute to an increase in a patient’s blood pressure, as well as motivating habits—such as stress eating, using tobacco, or drinking alcohol—that may alleviate stress but also contribute to hypertension.
Managing these risk factors, especially those linked to lifestyle and diet, can help lower the risk of hypertension. However, it is still important to keep an eye on your blood pressure levels to ensure that they are within normal range and prevent further complications.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
As dangerous as it is, hypertension frequently goes undiagnosed or unidentified in many patients, who often aren’t able to recognize its symptoms until it reaches dangerously high levels. This is why it is so important to consult with a medical professional regarding your hypertension risk levels and watch out for signs accordingly. Some common red flags for hypertension include headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. However, since these can also manifest as a result of a number of different conditions, regular monitoring may be required to determine whether or not these symptoms are a result of hypertension or something else. Other symptoms that may manifest in more severe cases of high blood pressure can include the following:
- Fatigue or confusion
- Chest pains and difficulty breathing
- Blood spots in the eyes (subconjunctival hemorrhage)
- Vision problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pulse pounding in your chest, neck or ears.
Because these symptoms only manifest once blood pressure levels get dangerously high, it is important to contact a doctor right away when a patient begins experiencing it, especially if they have a history of high blood pressure. To learn about how to get timely and expert medical attention, click here for our FAQs.
What are the complications and risks of hypertension?
Prolonged high blood pressure can affect key organs and lead to a drastically increased risk of serious health complications. Some of the most common long term high blood pressure effects include the following:
- Arterial damage – Because high blood pressure builds up in the arteries, they are the first to become damaged due to hypertension. Especially when high blood pressure is prolonged, the patient’s inner arterial walls can become strained and damaged, causing arteries to become narrower and limit blood flow to be limited throughout the body.
- Heart disease – Because arteries are such a crucial part of the cardiovascular system, chronic hypertension can cause an array of heart diseases and complications. These include (but are not limited to) heart failure, aneurysm, permanent cardiac damage, and coronary artery disease.
- Stroke – One of the most widespread and deadliest effects of hypertension, strokes occur when a part of the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This causes brain cells to die permanently, and in some severe cases strokes can turn out to be fatal.
Chronic hypertension can cause problems and severe complications all over a patient’s body, especially because so much of our organs and crucial systems rely on blood effectively delivering oxygen and nutrients all throughout. High blood pressure can be managed in a healthy way, but when left unchecked and untreated it can turn out to be fatal. At the first sign of hypertension, it is advisable that patients approach a medical professional as soon as possible to prevent serious long term effects and complications. When it comes to hypertension and other related conditions, our doctors are well-trained and fully equipped to handle any concerns you might have.
How do you treat high blood pressure?
Treatment for high blood pressure depends on a case-to-case basis, depending on whether or not a patient was able to receive early diagnosis and treatment, have higher risk factors, and the severity of their blood pressure levels.
For slightly high blood pressure, some doctors may recommend regular monitoring and healthier lifestyle choices to organically lower high blood pressure. For more severe cases, some doctors will prescribe medications to treat high blood pressure depending on the severity of their case as well as any complications that may arise as their condition progresses. In even more severe cases, doctors can prescribe multiple types of medication. With telehealth options, you can even get an initial consultation from the comfort of your own home – find out how Eva works to learn more.
How EVA Teleconsult can help with managing high blood pressure
EVA Teleconsult should be your first choice when in need of advice and assistance in managing many different chronic conditions, including hypertension. This is because, when you come to us, you can expect:
- On-time appointments – No more waiting for hours outside a doctor’s office. With EVA Teleconsult, your appointment starts right when you book it, because we know your time is valuable.
- Guaranteed minimum of 30 minutes of consultation – Your consultation with our doctors will never be rushed. You’ll always have enough time to fully explain your concerns, and your doctors will provide complete, comprehensive answers to them, in language you can understand.
- 5-star patient reviews – Our past patients are so happy with the service they receive that they almost always leave excellent reviews for our physicians.
Get the proper treatment that you deserve and contact us today.
High blood pressure is a manageable disease that when left untreated can have serious, even fatal consequences. Luckily, there are options such as EVA Teleconsult that make medical attention convenient and accessible. Using the latest technology, our doctors will be able to see you within the day to listen to your symptoms, concerns, and questions. Eva’s doctors practice with compassion, care, and expertise, making sure to genuinely care for each patient, providing a diagnosis and explaining what led to the issue and how to treat it or prevent it.