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The Connection Between Hearing Loss And High Blood Pressure

 

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease, which affects nearly 70 million adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This adds up to one in three adults! In addition to people with hypertension, the CDC states that one in three adults is living with elevated blood pressure or prehypertension. Prehypertension is not hypertension, but the blood pressure levels are above what is considered normal.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against your blood vessel walls. When your blood pressure is taken, two numbers are noted.

The top number is the systolic reading. This measures the pressure when your heart pushes blood out. The bottom number is the diastolic reading, which measures the pressure when your heart is relaxed between beats and is not pumping any blood. If the blood pressure is high, it means that your heart is pumping the blood through your arteries very fast. This excessive force causes damage to the smooth lining of blood vessel walls, resulting in areas where fatty plaque (made of fat, cholesterol and other substances) can build up and make a bump. The bump gets bigger as more plaque sticks to it.  The long-term effect of this is that the blood vessels collect a significant amount of fatty plaque, which diminishes or stops blood flow. This can occur anywhere in the body. In some people, the plaque bump will rupture and cause a traveling blood clot.

What Causes Hypertension?

The exact causes of hypertension are not known. Several factors increase the risk of having high blood pressure such as high salt intake, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, significant alcohol consumption, stress, age and, of course, genetics. A recent study showed that only half of Americans with hypertension have it under control.

A contributing factor to this is that hypertension is usually not something you feel. Most people do not know when their blood pressure increased and need to have their blood pressure checked to even know if they are within normal limits or…

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