Is high blood pressure always bad?
January 31, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Is high blood pressure always bad?

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Does the thought of having high blood pressure keep you up at night? Or do you ever feel concern for a friend or a family member who might be at risk? Your fear is well-founded as high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – if not treated in time, can lead to several other, much more severe health issues such as heart diseases and strokes. Having more knowledge about high blood pressure can help you prevent it in time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 75 million individuals in the United States are exposed to having high blood pressure. In today's world, we even see children and young adults being diagnosed with high blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure?

To find out for sure if you have high blood pressure, you need to monitor your blood pressure readings consistently. If the readings are about 140 over 90 or even more than that, then that is an indication that you have hypertension (high blood pressure). You may also be experiencing hypertension if one of those numbers is higher than the normal over several weeks.

However, it is to be noted that different organizations have different guidelines for high blood pressure. As an example, the American Heart Association (AHA) defines hypertension as occurring when an individual's systolic blood pressure readings go 130 mm Hg or above. On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that individuals with systolic blood pressures of 120–139 mm Hg are only "at-risk" of hypertension. Having high blood pressure exerts pressure on your heart and its blood vessels. If left untreated without timely treatment, it can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

How to tell if you're a victim of high blood pressure?

The major problem faced by individuals having high blood pressure is that they do not know they have it unless one of the two things are experienced:

1. You go to see your healthcare professional, and he suspects that you might have it

2. If you have a stroke or a heart attack that can be linked to high blood pressure

Despite that, it should be noted that the only manner in which high blood pressure can be diagnosed is by consulting a doctor. It can be treated and prevented as well to lessen the risk of potential health problems that follow. But, it is to be acknowledged that waiting for something serious to happen to diagnose is not a good option either.

Is having high blood pressure that big of a deal?

One needs to understand that he can’t judge the severity of his high blood pressure by just taking into consideration how he feels about it. It is not like a headache that can be said to have ended when you do not feel it. If you feel ‘fine’, it does not mean that you are actually ‘fine’. Thus, even if you feel that you are fine, you should still consult a health care professional and get yourself an appointment to find out if you have hypertension or not.

High blood pressure is deemed dangerous because of the reason that it does not present noticeable symptoms. Thus, individuals who have it might never find out they do unless a health care adviser diagnoses it for them. It is also dangerous if you have been prescribed medications for it, but you do not take them on time according to what is advised.

The primary cause that increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and chronic conditions is living with high blood pressure for many years. Although it is just a number, if you do not pay attention to it in time, it could cost you your life.

To know if high blood is always bad, the answer is yes, it is if not appropriately treated. Regardless of the level of hypertension you have, you should not take it lightly. Trust your doctor when they tell you to make small changes in your routine or to take some medications, they know better than you do.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.