Understanding The Silent Killer


Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is a frequent chronic illness that is often related to various health problems, including heart disease. The onset of the condition can be gradual and sufferers may not even be aware of their condition until later in their lives. But, a patient who is not symptomatic is still at risk of developing health issues in the future including stroke and heart attacks.


Hypertension is typically asymptomatic even when it is at the highest levels.

Patients who report symptoms typically experience headaches, breathlessness nose bleeding, headaches, and the sensation of tinnitus (ringing in the ear). But, these symptoms are typically non-specific, and those with uncontrolled hypertension may not show any symptoms in any way.

The measurement of blood pressure is usually done regularly during medical consultations. If you are concerned, ask your physician to examine your blood pressure at the next time you appointment.

If you’re 40 or more years old or have an ancestry with hypertension, it’s advisable to check your blood pressure regularly.

There are also automated blood pressure machines that are available to purchase to monitor your home.

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Different types of hypertension

Primary (Essential) Hypertension

This is the term used to describe the group of people who have no clear reason for hypertension. It’s usually a sneaky condition that is a gradual process that can take years to develop.

Secondary Hypertension

This is the category in which there are clear reasons for hypertension. The causes could include:

  • Thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, etc.
  • Renal problems
  • Occult tumors in the adrenal gland
  • Congenital birth defects
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Hypertension caused by medication

Risk Factors

  • age. Risk of hypertension increases at around age 45. It is more prevalent in males than females, though the risk profile of women is similar to that of males following menopausal change.
  • race. It has been discovered that patients of African descent are more likely to suffer from hypertension.
  • A Positive Family History for Hypertension. There is a genetic link to hypertension.
  • HD Body mass Index (BMI) (Overweight or categories of obesity) Patients with a high BMI are more likely to develop hypertension in comparison to their thinner counterparts.
  • Generalized Lethargy. Patients who tend to live a sedentary lifestyle typically have higher heart rates and BMIs that are higher which increases the risk of developing hypertension.
  • smoking. Smoking causes a increase in blood pressure, and over time it causes the hardening and narrowing in blood vessels. The same effect can be observed in passive smokers.
  • sodium (Table Salt) and Potassium Intake. Table salt, sodium chloride when consumed in large quantities, results in the retention of fluid in the body, thereby raising blood pressure. Potassium is in contrast, is a strong antagonist to sodium. Therefore, an excess of sodium or a deficiency of potassium can cause blood Pressure fluctuation. .
  • Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol causes global negative effects on the body. Alcohol consumption that is excessive can result in Blood Pressure fluctuation.
  • Related Chronic Conditions. Chronic renal failure as well as diabetes, sleep apnoea, etc., as well as chronic stress can all can contribute to the development of hypertension.
  • Particular Conditions. Pre-eclampsia, or hypertension during pregnancy, or congenital problems, are an example of hypertension-related conditions that are caused by special circumstances.


Cardiac Effects:

  • Heart attack – This is by far the most well-known hypertension-related complication.
  • Cerebrovascular Accidents – Often referred to as strokes.
  • Aneurysms – Hypertension that is prolonged can lead to the arterial walls to weaken and cause arteries to expand and enlarge, creating aneurysms.
  • Cardiac failure It is defined as the inability of the heart to move blood throughout the body and consummate according to its needs. heart failure can be a result of untreated, prolonged hypertension. The long-term effects of hypertension cause thickening of the cardiac muscle, which results in irregular contractions, which eventually cause cardiac failure.
  • Renal Failure – It is crucial to keep in mind that renal failure may cause hypertension, it also results in weakening of the vessels inside the kidneys, which leads to in renal failure.
  • Ophthalmological Complications –Damage to the small blood vessels in the eyeball may cause vision disturbances, or even loss in extreme cases.
  • Non-specific consequences Non-specific effects It is known that people suffering from prolonged or untreated hypertension are more often with a lower level of mental functioning memory loss, as well as other symptoms that are not specific like those of the Metabolic Syndrome.


It is essential to talk with your physician treating you in case you’re concerned you may have hypertension.

If you visit your doctor, there are no special preparations required however it is essential to remain calm throughout the exam as anxiety could cause stress and cause blood pressure readings to rise.

Be aware that your first appointment could possibly be lengthy as there is a lot to talk about prior to introducing treatment for hypertension, in the event of.

Your physician should be informed about the following issues:

  • What symptoms have you experienced like breathlessness or chest pain, tinnitus, and so on.
  • Family history, particularly in the case of hypertension in the family.
  • Your current regimen of medication.
  • Your medical history at present particularly if you suffer from chronic illnesses such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Your present lifestyle honestly – This includes exercise, diet and alcohol consumption, smoking.
  • Your last Blood Pressure reading if available.

Your doctor will take a measurement of your blood pressure and will inform you of your Blood Pressure reading.

  • Blood Pressure is described using two measurements:
  • Systolic Blood Pressure (Higher reading)
  • Diastolic Bp (Lower reading)

There are a variety of categories of hypertension that are related to diastolic and systolic blood pressure, as the definition of blood Pressure is different with the age of the patient and. Your doctor will determine this the appropriate blood pressure after taking your blood most likely after taking multiple readings at different times.

In some instances the doctor may recommend 24-hour monitoring of your blood pressure to give a more precise image of the changes in your blood pressure during the course of your day. This implies that you’ll need to conduct your own at-home BP monitoring.

Other tests that your doctor may require may include:

  • Urine tests to determine proteins in urine
  • Tests of blood to determine cholesterol levels
  • Electrocardiograms (ECGs)

If the diagnosis is confirmed the doctor will suggest lifestyle changes as the initial line of treatment, and then medication after.

Dr Tzun Hon Lau is a resident  with more than 10 years of experience in the home healthcare field in Singapore. He believes that quality healthcare at home doesn’t have to cost the same amount as a hospital bill.

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