High blood pressure is a condition in which blood exerts a lot of force against the blood vessels. According to medical principles, high blood pressure that is also known as hypertension, is often brought about by blood pressure of 130/80 mmhg, and above. The condition is also referred to as “silent killer” because it shows no signs or symptoms. This condition has proven to be more prevalent among senior adults as compared to persons of a younger age. Studies indicate that about 50% of adults in America suffer from hypertension, a noteworthy risk in senior health.
Causes of Hypertension-a step towards improving senior health
High blood pressure is a common concern in senior health. It can be classified according to whether or not the causes are known. Blood pressure increases with age which turns out to be natural. In most cases, a single specific cause is usually pre-determined. This is called primary high blood pressure. In situations where it could have been caused as a result of other illnesses or medication, it is called secondary high blood pressure. Lifestyle factors such as excessive consumption of alcohol, taking too much salt, smoking, stress, and deficiency in minerals such as potassium, are known to increase blood pressure.
Hypertension may cause certain complications to the senior if it is left untreated. Such complications include kidney failure because of narrowing of the blood vessels in the kidney, blindness when blood vessels in the eye are damaged, hardening of the arteries and enlargement of the heart. It causes the heart to work harder therefore increasing the chances of stroke and heart attack. Those who are at a higher risk of developing hypertension are overweight senior men and women who are above the ages of 45 and 55 respectively.
Treatment of Hypertension
Early diagnosis of high blood pressure is important as it reduces the risks of developing severe complications. Blood pressure measurements are common in most medical appointments and if the readings are elevated, a repeat is done before deciding on the form of treatment. In treating hypertension, a combination of two or more medicines is used. Commonly prescribed medication includes diuretics, beta-blockers, alpha beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers as well as angiotensin converting enzyme.
Seniors, with the help of their caregivers, are encouraged to take blood pressure measurements more often. If they are found to have the condition, they should be put on medication immediately. In so doing, the number of elderly people dying of the condition will be reduced and this would mark a positive milestone in senior health.