High blood Pressure is a chronic medical condition that has been recorded to be responsible for many deaths in these recent times, hypertension occurs when blood pressure is elevated in the blood vessels and the heart has to perform more work to circulate blood through the body. This increased heart functioning beyond normal may result in damage to the heart and other organs in the body. Ogah et al (2012) reported overall prevalence of hypertension in Nigeria ranges as from 8%-46.4% depending on the study target population.
Despite the high prevalence of this condition, 33% of hypertensive individuals do not know that they have high blood pressure because the condition rarely presents itself with noticeable symptoms except though a blood pressure check. This is called ASYMPTOMATIC HYPERTENSION. Though no symptoms can be seen, damages are being done to the organs of the body. That is why it is frequently called ‘the silent killer’.
It is therefore advised to check your blood pressure level on a regular basis.
Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg)
|Less than 120
|Less than 80
|High blood pressure
| Stage 2
|160 or higher
|100 or higher
SYMPTOMATIC HYPERTENSION (with symptoms) on the other hand may cause:
- Severe headaches
- Fatigue or confusion
- Problems with vision
- Chest pains
- Breathing problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
Health Complications of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension leading to damage of body organs shortens number of years a person is expected to live. It increases the risk of heart attacks, heart diseases, strokes and kidney failure. Untreated, hypertension can also cause blindness, irregularities of the heartbeat and heart failure. The risk of developing these complications is higher in the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes. High blood pressure during middle age may also raise the risk of cognitive decline later in life.
HRV Biofeedback as an alternative solution to High Blood Pressure
Although using medication and changing lifestyle,manages hypertension, recent research has also discovered a new way of managing the condition. This is called Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback Training.
HRV is the difference in the time interval between heart beats. Poor breathing patterns as a result of poor posture, restrictive clothing, bad habits such as smoking, diets, stress, lack of exercise, polluted environments lead to high blood pressure. The number of breaths per minute has a direct relationship with HRV, with an increase in the number of breaths per minutes HRV is reduced. With studies showing that a low HRV is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, HRV biofeedback training can help increase HRV, thus reducing the number of breathes per minute and lowering blood pressure. Therefore the goal of this training is to reduce the number of breathes per minute through deep breathing and relaxation procedures that make your
breathing slower, deeper and regular with the use of Biofeedback devices.
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