Medical Awareness >>   High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a state in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is high such that it may ultimately cause severe heart problems or other health issues. High blood pressure is said to be a silent killer. 


                                        High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes |


                                    Image of blood flowing through arteries exerting force 


The amount of blood produced by the heart and the degree of arterial blood flow resistance influence blood pressure. Blood pressure rises in direct proportion to how much blood the heart pumps through constricted arteries.

The risk of significant health problems including heart disease and stroke increases double when high blood pressure is uncontrolled. Fortunately, excessive blood pressure can be quickly identified, managed, and treated.



               Image of hypertensive and normal heart with no hypertension   



Blood pressure readings-

A blood pressure reading is given in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It has two numbers.

  • Top number (systolic pressure). The first, or upper, number measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
  • Bottom number (diastolic pressure). The second, or lower, number measures the pressure in arteries between beats.

Following below is high blood pressure chart-


Blood Pressure Category 

Systolic Blood Pressure mmHg

Diastolic Blood Pressure mmHg



Less than 80



Less than 80

High stage 1



High stage 2

140 or higher

90 or higher

Hypertensive Crisis

Higher than 180

Higher than 120


Blood pressure is measured by a sphygmomanometer. There are three types of these devices- mercury sphygmomanometer, aneroid sphygmomanometer and digital sphygmomanometer. A sphygmomanometer is a device with an inflatable rubber cuff that is applied to the arm and connected to a column of mercury next to a graduated scale enabling the determination of systolic and diastolic blood pressure by increasing and gradually releasing the pressure in the cuff. Along with it, a doctor uses a stethoscope to hear the blood flow in arteries and veins.


Are Ringing Ears a Sign of High Blood Pressure? | Anderson Audiology


Image of digital sphygmomanometer 


Symptoms of high blood pressure-


  • Blurry or double vision.
  • Lightheadedness/Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.


Despite readings showing dangerously high levels, the majority of persons with hypertension do not exhibit any symptoms.


Some people may experience headaches, breathlessness, or nosebleeds, but these symptoms are vague and typically don't show up until high blood pressure has gotten quite bad.


There are many types of high blood pressure –


  • Primary or essential hypertension- no identifiable cause and tends to develop gradually over years 
  • Secondary hypertension- caused by underlying condition and tends to appear suddenly
  • Isolated systolic hypertension- caused when systolic pressure aries above 140, while diastolic pressure lies below 90
  • Malignant hypertension- common in younger adults, and in women with pregnancy toxemia, occurs when blood pressure rises quickly causing chest pain, confusion etc
  • Resistant hypertension- seen as genetic component in people who are old, obese, female, have diabetes or kidney disease etc.



Risk factors for high blood pressure- 


  • Age 
  • Race 
  • Family history
  • Being overweight
  • Not physically active
  • Too much sodium and low potassium in diet
  • Using tobacco
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Certain chronic conditions 


Complications of high blood pressure-


  • Heart attacks 
  • Aneurysm 
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart failure
  • Weakened blood vessels in kidneys
  • Thickened and narrowed blood vessels in eyes
  • Trouble with memory
  • Dementia 




                                    Image of Heart threats from high blood pressure 


Treatment of high blood pressure-


Most people with high blood pressure will likely need lifelong treatment to help keep off serious health problems brought about by the condition.


Treatment of high blood pressure may involve many options like:


  • Eating a healthy diet with a little salt
  • Medication
  • Incorporating additional lifestyle changes like exercise, limiting alcohol intake, smoking discontinuance, and managing stress 
  • Active lifestyle 


Taking one or more drugs is often more effective for many persons with high blood pressure than taking doses of just one medication. Healthcare professionals may suggest different drugs depending on the patient's body, medical history, and degree of the ailment.


High blood pressure sufferers need to watch their sodium and cholesterol intake and keep up a balanced diet.


It could be advised to follow a diet high in protein, fiber, and other nutrients.


Fact check


  • According to studies, the prevalence of Hypertension in India is about 25 percent.
  • High blood pressure is linked to dementia.
  • Younger people can also suffer from high blood pressure
  • Women and African-Americans face unique risk when it comes to high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure leads to 1000 deaths per day.
  • Approximately 20% of US adults who high blood pressure are not aware that they have it
  • It affects one in four adults worldwide
  • Dark chocolate helps to reduce high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure is called silent killer as it often has no symptoms
  • When the blood pressure readings are higher in a doctor’s clinic than at other settings like home is called white coat hypertension and it occurs due to anxiety and nervousness.


PGC Resolution- 

  • To make people aware of the dietary approaches to avoid and prevent high blood pressure.
  • To encourage people to practice a healthy and physically active lifestyle.
  • Conduct campaigns and events to spread awareness on the adverse consequences of high blood pressure.