Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Hypertension is a common medical condition where, over time, the force of blood pushing against artery walls can eventually lead to health problems, such as heart disease.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps as well as the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. This higher pressure puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. In addition to a greater risk of a heart attack or stroke, the extra strain of hypertension can also lead to kidney disease, and is closely linked to some types of dementia.
It is possible to have hypertension for years without any symptoms. However, even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart will still take place. As we age, it is important to regularly visit a doctor to ensure that your blood pressure is under control. In the case of older adults, seniors may need live in care or some type of elder care support in order to ensure that they keep on top of medical appointments and any required follow up.
Are You At Risk For Hypertension?
There are some people who will be at greater risk for hypertension. In some cases, hereditary factors can play a big role, while for other people, their lifestyle choices increase their risk for high blood pressure.
Hereditary risk factors include:
- Family history of high blood pressure.
- Blood vessels gradually lose some of their elastic quality as we age, which can contribute to increased blood pressure.
- Men are more likely to get high blood pressure at an earlier age, while women 65 and older are more likely to get high blood pressure.
- African-American individuals are at a higher risk of high blood pressure than people from other ethnic backgrounds.
Lifestyle risk factors includes:
- Lack of physical activity. physical activity supports your heart and circulatory system.
- Poor diet, especially one high in sodium.
- Being overweight.
- Drinking excessive alcohol.
An unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to issues like sleep apnea and high cholesterol – both of which also increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Living With Hypertension
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help manage the condition. Making sure you maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and regular exercise can have a great impact on your heart health. The right medication can also be very effective in managing hypertension.
Halton region seniors who need to lead a healthy lifestyle to keep their blood pressure levels in check should seek out Oakville elder care or live in care as a positive source of support. iCare Home Health provides elder care options in Oakville, Milton, Mississauga, and Burlington. From ensuring that medication is taken regularly, to helping seniors shop and prepare heart healthy meals, iCare Home Health services can provide the peace of mind you need to continue to live a positive and healthy life. For more information on how we can help, contact us to request a free assessment.