High blood pressure is a condition in which the force on the walls of blood vessels (caused by the blood within them) is higher than it should be, forcing the heart to work harder and putting the blood vessels under more strain. High blood pressure usually doesn’t cause symptoms but can increase the risk of serious problems such as heart disease, stroke or kidney disease.
Patients are usually diagnosed with high blood pressure when they have a sustained blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above. For most doctors, the ideal blood pressure for a physically healthy person should be around 120/80mmHg.
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
Most patients with hypertension don’t experience any symptoms, and their condition might go unnoticed until they have a blood pressure test.
When blood pressure is very high, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Severe headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Vision problems
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
It should be noted that most people attribute these symptoms to other conditions, which is why hypertension can take years to be detected without regular health checkups.
How is hypertension diagnosed?
During your consultation, the doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination. They will wrap an inflatable arm cuff over your arm and use a pressure gauge to test your blood pressure.
The measurements of blood pressure fall into the below categories, with the systolic number at the top and the diastolic number at the bottom:
- Normal blood pressure: Less than 120/80
- Elevated blood pressure: 120-129/less than 80
- Stage 1 hypertension: 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 hypertension: 140 or higher/90 or higher
- Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/120
Because blood pressure varies throughout the day and might rise during your appointment, the doctor will most likely take numerous blood pressure measurements over several visits before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may suggest some tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out any underlying causes of hypertension, such as cholesterol testing and other blood tests, or an electrocardiogram, which measures the electrical activity of the heart.
How is hypertension treated?
Although there is no cure for high blood pressure, medications and life style changes can help lower the risk of dangerous health conditions associated with high blood pressure.
- Lifestyle changes, such as adopting a low-salt healthy diet, exercising regularly, losing excess weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and managing stress.
- Medications: The doctor will recommend the type of medication(s) you need depending on your blood pressure readings and overall health. Blood pressure medications include Diuretics (water pills), Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Alpha-beta blockers, and Vasodilators.
Schedule your appointment at Novomed today!
To have your blood pressure checked or learn more about this condition and how to manage it, make an appointment today with our expert cardiologist in Dubai by calling toll-free 8006686 or clicking the chat icon at the bottom of the screen.