What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure). It's measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). High blood pressure (or hypertension) is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mmHg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mmHg diastolic pressure. 

High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (which leads to heart attack) and stroke, especially when it's present with other risk factors. 

High blood pressure can occur in children or adults, but it's more common among people over age 35. It's particularly prevalent in African Americans, middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women taking birth control pills. It may run in families, but many people with a strong family history of high blood pressure never have it. People with diabetes mellitus, gout or kidney disease are more likely to have high blood pressure, too.

What is a normal blood pressure?

The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure has classified blood pressure measurements into several categories:

  • "Normal" blood pressure is systolic pressure less than 120 and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg
  • "Prehypertension" is systolic pressure of120-139 or diastolic pressure of 80-89 mmHg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension is blood pressure greater than systolic pressure of 140-159 or diastolic pressure of 90-99 mmHg or greater.
  • Stage 2 Hypertension is systolic pressure of 160 or greater or diastolic pressure of 100 or greater.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is sometimes called the "silent killer" because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure. That’s why it's important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. 

What can be done, if consistently high / low values are obtained?

1. Consult your doctor.
2. There are general lifestyle measures which can be taken to both prevent and reduce high blood pressure. These include:

A) Eating Habits

  • Strive for normal weight according to age.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of salt!
  • Avoid fatty foods!

B) Previous Illnesses

  • Adhere to medical instructions given for the treatment of pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, fat metabolism disorder and gout.

C) Habits

  • Give up smoking!
  • Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol!
  • Restrict your caffeine consumption (eg. coffee)!

D) Physical Constitution

  • After preliminary medical examination, exercise regularly.
  • Choose sports which require stamina and avoid those which require strenght.
  • Avoid reaching the limit of your performance.
  • With previous illnesses and/or an age of over 40 years, please consult your doctor before beginning your sporting activities. He will advise you regarding the type and extent of types of sport that are possible for you.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure often doesn't have any symptoms, so you usually don't feel it. For that reason, hypertension is usually diagnosed by a health care professional on a routine visit. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has hypertension or embody risk factors for it.

If your blood pressure is extremely high, you may have unusually strong headaches, chest pain, and heart failure (especially difficulty breathing and poor exercise tolerance). If you have any of these symptoms, seek treatment immediately. 

Recommended blood pressure levels:

 Blood Pressure Category   Systolic (mmHG)     Diastolic (mmHG) 
 Normal  less than 120  and  less than 80
 Pre-Hypertension  120-139  or  80-89
 Stage 1 Hypertension  140-159  or  90-99
 Stage 2 Hypertension  160 or higher  or  100 or higher

How does an inhalation therapy work?

Respiratory diseases can be well managed with inhalation therapy as the dose reaches the bronchioles and the lung area. Compared with MDIs or dry powder inhalers, nebulisers allow the medication to be more efficiently deposited with less coordination problems. Consequently, the medication is uniformly deposited within the upper and lower respiratory tract where it has maximal effect.

Further advantages are that the airways are moistened and the medicine can be very simply inhaled. Side effects of treatment are reduced when using inhalation devices as opposed to MDI and dry powder inhalers as less medication remains in the mouth, where it has no benefit. Inhalation devices are therefore particularly suitable for patients with chronic respiratory diseases, children and older patients.

Ten important things to know about asthma

  • Asthma is a chronic lung condition that can develop at any age.
  • Asthma can't be cured, but controlled.
  • You can live a normal life with controlled asthma.
  • A peak flow meter can help to control your asthma.
  • Exercising is possible with well-controlled asthma.
  • Identifying allergies can help to control your asthma.
  • Asthma control depends on the regular use of medication.
  • Avoiding asthma triggers can reduce the need for medication.
  • Smoking and passive smoking can make asthma worse.
  • See your doctor if you have asthma symptoms more than twice a week.

What is Asthma?

Asthma becomes apparent by frequent, spasmodic gasping for air and wheezing. As with chronic bronchitis, the bronchi are inflamed and obstructed with phlegm while the cilia are conglutinated. The respiratory passages also respond to certain stimuli with muscular spasms, often caused by allergens such as pollen or house dust, but also stress and environmental pollution

What is Bronchitis?

With bronchitis the bronchial mucus membrane is inflamed. If this persists for a lengthy period, it is referred to as chronic bronchitis. Constant coughing, impaired breathing, excess mucus and sputum are typical symptoms.