Ischemia is characterized by insufficient oxygen and nutrients in the living tissue. This is typically due to an obstruction of the blood flow to the tissue. The tissue under ischemia is called as ischemic and functions unusually. If the condition continues long enough, the involved tissue eventually dies. This is called infarction which is a term many recognize as stroke or heart attack.
Is high blood pressure a potential risk factor for ischemia?
There are various forms of ischemia and the kind experienced by an individual depends on the tissue involved. When it comes to atherosclerosis, it is a typical cause of ischemia and hypertension greatly increases the risk.
Those who have high blood pressure face a higher risk of develop certain forms of ischemia including myocardial ischemia that affects the heart and ischemic stroke that affects the brain.
What is myocardial ischemia?
If an individual suffers from myocardial ischemia, the heart is not receiving enough oxygen. The culprit behind this is a partly or fully blocked coronary artery which results to damage to the heart muscle. An individual might have a heart attack if he/she experiences an abrupt and severe obstruction. The typical indications of myocardial ischemia include the following:
- Pain in the jaw, neck, arm or shoulder
- Rapid heartbeat or tachycardia
- Extended and intense chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Aside from high blood pressure, there are also other health conditions that increases the risk for developing myocardial ischemia such as obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol.
What is an ischemic stroke?
A clogged artery causes lack of oxygen to the brain which causes the tissues to die, resulting to an ischemic stroke.
The outcome of a stroke can range from moderate to severe and depends on the affected part of the brain. Immediate medical care is vital to save the brain tissue.
How to recognize a stroke
To help determine if an individual is having a stroke, you have to utilize the F.A.S.T acronym.
- Face – the individual tries to smile but one side sags
- Arms – once both arms are raised, one glides downward
- Speech – if an individual is asked to repeat a sentence, he/she has slurred speech or could not respond
- Time – time is vital and bringing the individual to the nearest emergency department is essential