Hypertension or high blood pressure is a very common medical condition in which the pressure exerted by blood on arterial walls is more than it should be. It is called as a “silent killer” because its symptoms are relatively silent and person may not be aware that he is actually having a high a blood pressure if not screened. It is a killer because its consequences include lethal diseases like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, retinopathy, dementia, etc. For example, 70-80% of people having heart attack or stroke have high blood pressure.
Risk Factors You have greater chances of having a high blood pressure in following cases:
1. Family history of hypertension
2. Age over 55 years
3. Sedentary lifestyle
5. High fat diet
7. High alcohol intake
However, it is well advised to have regular blood pressure checkups after 30 years of age.
Symptoms It is important to identify the symptoms of hypertension since they can be mild or even none in initial stages. Symptoms may include,
4. Shortness of breath
5. Persistent headache
6. Double or blurred vision
If you have any of these symptoms, do get yourself screened for hypertension. Even otherwise, for every individual above 30 years, and particular people with high risk factors (mentioned above) should get themselves screened at regular intervals.
Mild hypertension can be managed with dietary and lifestyle modifications. And in other cases, medications may also be required. Hypertension, if ignored, can prove to be a lethal ailment. So, it is important to be aware and sensitive towards your own health.
Dr. Sunil Chaudhary