High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, has become a common health issue experienced by adults and older adults across the world. Statistics show that 47% of adults in the United States alone suffer from the condition. When neglected, high blood pressure leads to a number of health risks. In this article, we'll explore how these additional health complications occur and how the LOOKEE® AirBP Blood Pressure Monitor can assist patients in keeping track of their health in order to live more sustainable and healthier lifestyles.
What is High Blood Pressure & How Does it Occur?
When a person's blood flow increases due to a high resistance caused by the narrowing of their arteries, they are experiencing what is known as Hypertension. The more narrow their arteries become, the higher their blood pressure will be.
There are two types of hypertension, namely essential and secondary. Essential hypertension is the most common form and can occur due to poor health, lifestyle habits, and even chronic conditions. Secondary hypertension occurs more rarely and develops at a much more rapid pace than essential hypertension and is normally as a result of present health issues.
The causes of high blood pressure vary. Some people may be predisposed to the condition. However, in most cases, it occurs due to aging or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Health Complications Caused By High Blood Pressure
Heart Disease & Stroke
Hypertension can result in both heart attacks and heart failure. Since it causes atherosclerosis or thickening of the arteries, blockages can occur, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Higher pressure in the vessels requires a higher output from the heart to pump blood. This increased effort results in left ventricular hypertrophy. The chamber in the heart responsible for pumping blood begins to thicken and may struggle to fulfill its needs leading to heart failure.
Aneurysms are bulges that form on blood vessels due to weakened walls or those that cannot withstand the high pressure. As blood is transported through the vessels, part of it will bulge out like a balloon. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening for the patient.
Abnormal Blood Vessel Functioning
Atherosclerosis or damaged blood vessels within the eyes can cause bleeding in the retina, leading to gradual vision loss. High blood pressure can also weaken the blood vessels present within the kidneys. If proper functioning of the kidneys is inhibited, it can prevent other vital organs in the body from functioning normally as well.
Over time, untreated hypertension can negatively impact a person's cognitive ability. Specifically their memory and ability to learn. A study showed that because the condition can lead to strokes, it can have adverse effects on the brain when not managed. The study also showed that strokes and narrowed blood vessels that supply a limited blood flow to the brain could lead to the development of vascular dementia.
Metabolic syndrome features a group of disorders that affect the functioning of the body's metabolism. It can result in weight gain, increased triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and high insulin levels. These conditions increase the likelihood of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Monitoring High Blood Pressure
When keeping track of your blood pressure levels, it is important to understand how to interpret readings. A blood pressure machine will display two numbers that represent the body's systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure indicates the maximum pressure exerted by the heart while it beats. Diastolic pressure is the pressure within the arteries between heartbeats.
The Systolic pressure will always be presented first or at the top and will be significantly higher than the diastolic pressure. For example, a reading that shows "140 over 90" or 140/90mmHg indicates a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
When interpreting readings, 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg are considered normal blood pressure levels. On the other hand, 140/90mmHg or higher indicates high blood pressure levels and a possible risk of developing hypertension.
The LOOKEE® AirBP is the perfect device for older adults to keep track of their pressure levels. It is the world's most portable blood pressure monitor, allowing adults to take it with them wherever they go and measure their levels when they experience symptoms of hypertension.
High blood pressure has become known as a 'silent killer,' and it's clear to see why. As a condition that causes so many health complications, it is essential that older adults take the precautions to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent and manage it. If an adult suspects that they may be suffering from high blood pressure, The first step would be to schedule a visit with their local physician. They will provide further information about pressure medication and necessary lifestyle changes to help lower their levels.