High blood pressure (also known as hypertension or hypertensive disease) is a serious condition in which blood pressure is higher than normal. It poses a high risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications. High blood pressure symptoms can be difficult to notice, but they’re common and important for your health. Keep reading to learn about the different types of high blood pressure, how much you should weigh against your blood pressure and the risk factors that put you at greater risk for developing high blood pressure.
Types of High Blood Pressure
- Elevated Blood Pressure. Also Known As “Normal” Blood Pressure – Elevated blood pressure is when the blood pressure is higher than normal but less than the stage of high blood pressure.
- High Blood Pressure. Also Known As: “High Blood Pressure” – High blood pressure is when the blood pressure is higher than normal but less than the stage of hypertensive disease.
- Pre-Hypertension Also Known As: “Early Stage High Blood Pressure” – Pre-hypertension is when a person has high blood pressure but not enough symptoms or risk factors to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pumping through your arteries as well as the resistance to that flow. Normal blood pressure is about 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). There are different stages of blood pressure, ranging from very low (below 120/80 mmHg) to very high (above 240/140 mmHg). The stage of blood pressure is based on the risk of the person developing complications related to hypertension or having a heart attack or stroke. Doctors refer to the stage of blood pressure as “high” when the pressure is higher than “normal,” but not high enough to be diagnosed with a hypertensive disease or dialysis. A high blood pressure reading is an indicator of a higher risk of future complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and vision problems.
Risk factors for developing High Blood Pressure
- Being Overweight. Being overweight can raise your risk of developing high blood pressure by increasing your chances of being overweight due to the influence of unhealthy foods on your body.
- A Family History of High Blood Pressure. Having a family history of high blood pressure increases your risk of developing the condition.
- Smoking. Nicotine increases your blood pressure and increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Age. As you age, your blood pressure often rises.
- Certain Ethnic Groups. People of African, Asian, and South American descent are more likely to develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes. Meanwhile, people of European descent are less likely to have high blood pressure.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
People with high blood pressure often don’t experience any symptoms or only mild ones, such as persistent headaches, fatigue, dizziness, blurry vision, or depression. If you have pre-hypertension or mild high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have no symptoms or only mild ones. Pre-hypertension symptoms may include:
- Headaches. Headaches can be a sign of high blood pressure.
- Dizziness. Dizziness can be a sign of high blood pressure.
- Blurry Vision. Blurry vision can be a sign of high blood pressure.
- Fatigue. Fatigue can be a sign of high blood pressure.
Treatment for High Blood Pressure
For mild high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and eating a healthy diet. If you have pre-hypertension or mild high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend taking medication. If your blood pressure is high enough to be considered high blood pressure, your doctor may suggest medicines to control your blood pressure. You can also control your blood pressure by eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity. While medications are most effective when taken consistently, you can take some blood pressure medications as needed, such as in an emergency or if you forget to take your regular medicine.
Should You Try to Control Your Blood Pressure?
No matter what your blood pressure level is, if you have high blood pressure, you’re at risk of developing serious health problems. Drinking alcohol only in moderation, getting enough physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight are all healthy lifestyle habits that can lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high enough to be considered high, you should try to lower it by following the advice from your doctor.
High blood pressure is a condition in which the blood pressure is higher than normal. There are several types of high blood pressure, including pre-hypertension and systolic hypertension. Pre-hypertension is when the blood pressure is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with hypertension. Symptoms of high blood pressure may include a persistent headache, blurred vision, and fatigue. High blood pressure can be controlled by following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.