Hypertension is a popular ailment that is quite prevalent amongst the urban population of today. This condition primarily occurs when the blood forcefully pushes against the arteries as the heart pumps.
To measure this pressure, doctors use a Sphygmomanometer which gives the blood pressure reading in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and consists of two numbers.
- The upper or first number – measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure)
- The lower or second number – measure the pressure in the arteries between beats (diastolic pressure)
Stage 1 Hypertension occurs when the systolic pressure ranges from 130 to 139 mm Hg or when the diastolic pressure ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
Stage 2 Hypertension, a more severe kind, occurs when the systolic pressure ranges between 140 mm Hg or higher or when the diastolic pressure ranges between 90 mm Hg or higher.
While both these numbers are crucial, for older people, particular emphasis should be laid on the systolic reading. Here you can understand high BP in old age more clearly.
Isolated Systolic Hypertension is a condition that occurs when the diastolic pressure remains normal (below the range of 90 mm Hg), but the systolic pressure shoots up (touches beyond 140 mm Hg). This is a common condition that is observed in people above the age of 60 years.
Types of Hypertension
- Primary Hypertension (also known as Essential Hypertension) – For almost 90% of the patients, the cause of this Hypertension is unknown. Your doctor will diagnose this Hypertension type after analyzing your blood pressure after three or four visits. People who suffer from this Hypertension type show no significant symptoms. However, a few patients do show the below signs:
- Frequent headaches,
- Dizziness, or
- Secondary Hypertension – This Hypertension type occurs when there is an abnormality in the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.
Some common causes of this Hypertension include:
- Abnormalities or tumors of the adrenal glands
- Hormonal imbalances
- Excessive salt or alcohol intake
- Malignant Hypertension – Here the blood pressure rises rather quickly and causes a medical emergency where the patient needs to be rushed to the hospital. It is typically observed in small fractions of society such as young African-American men and women with pregnancy toxemia, to name a few.
Some common symptoms include:
- Numbness in arms and legs
- A headache
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision
- Resistant Hypertension – This type of Hypertension is usually observed in people who are aged, obese or are suffering from diabetes or kidney ailments.
Also Read: What is Pulmonary Hypertension?