Hypertension is another word for high blood pressure. When a doctor tests your blood pressure, he or she is looking for two things. He or she is monitoring how much blood your heart is pumping, and how much resistance that blood is facing within your arteries. The more blood your heart has to pump, and the narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be. A normal blood pressure measurement is 120 over 80. Anything at or above 140 over 90 indicates the onset of hypertension.
Blood tests are recommended at least every other year for patients age 18 and over. The reason for this is that having high blood pressure usually doesn't lead to any noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do finally become apparent, it usually means that the condition has reached a potentially life threatening level. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care professional immediately:
The other type is called secondary hypertension. This condition appears suddenly and is usually more severe than primary hypertension. It is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as:
Here is a list of other factors that may contribute to high blood pressure:
If left untreated, hypertension can lead to a number of severe health issues. Some of these include:
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. It does not usually cause symptoms.