Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the main concerns of seniors in their advancing age. It is estimated that more than half of the older population aged 55 and above have high blood pressure. Being able to control it may help seniors to control a host of other diseases and conditions brought about by old age.

What is blood pressure

Blood pressure is measured as a fraction composed of the systolic and the diastolic measures. The systolic blood pressure is the top number and indicates the force of the blood pumped from the heart and into the artery walls. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure which is the pressure that remains in the circulatory system after the force of the ejected blood from the heart.

Blood pressure is measured in units of mercury or mm Hg. Normal blood pressure ranges in the area of 120/80 mm Hg. The difference between the systolic and diastolic is also considered when monitoring blood pressure. The difference usually ranges between 30 and 60. A larger difference would result in a person experience frequent periods of low blood pressure upon standing as just among the many other conditions.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Hypertension is often called the "silent killer" because symptoms of high blood pressure do not appear for years until a vital organ is threatened. Signs of long-untreated high blood pressure (such as headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, restlessness and blurred vision) can be the result of damage to the brain, eyes, heart and kidneys.

Diagnosis of high blood pressure

In seniors, what is given the most concern is the increased incidence of systolic blood pressure and a decrease in diastolic pressure. Common cases in the elderly also include a widening difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressures. The fall in the diastolic pressure is a result of the decreased resistance to the pressure of the largest artery, the aorta due to less flexibility and stiffness that usually comes with age. A high systolic blood pressure may also worsen the problem.

A complication of high blood pressure is atherosclerosis. Another one is coronary heart disease. Hypertension, the other term used for high blood pressure, is also a common risk factor for congestive heart failure as well as stroke. Being able to control high blood pressure may help in reducing the risk that these complications might cause on the elderly.

Treatment of high blood pressure

There are also other ways that the elderly may try out in order to help control high blood pressure aside from the usual medication prescribed by doctors. One of the most effective would be lifestyle modification. One of the key areas for this would be diet. Lesser intake of saturated fat, cholesterol increasing food as well as sodium might be effective in trying to lower down high blood pressure in seniors.

Alcohol intake should also be taken in moderation. It would be better to refrain from consuming alcohol. But if that seems to be not possible, then a drink or two a day of alcohol and not going over that would be enough to help reduce cardiovascular risk.