Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition characterized by elevated pressure in the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. When blood pressure remains consistently high, it can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Hypertension is typically classified into two categories: primary (essential) hypertension and secondary hypertension. Primary hypertension is the most common type and has no identifiable underlying cause, while secondary hypertension is caused by an underlying condition such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, or medication use.
Hypertension is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it usually has no symptoms and can go undetected for years. It is typically diagnosed through regular blood pressure screenings at a doctor's office.
Treatment for hypertension typically involves lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and limiting alcohol and tobacco use. Medications such as diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers may also be prescribed to lower blood pressure. Treatment is usually tailored to the individual based on their age, overall health, and the severity of their hypertension.