High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure or take medication for hypertension. Your blood pressure is a significant indicator of your overall heart health. Elevated levels over time can have serious consequences, which is why it’s critical to catch potential problems early on. At Modern Heart and Vascular, we have the team and tools to help you monitor your blood pressure and prevent complications.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure measures two factors: the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic) and the pressure exerted between heartbeats (diastolic). If your blood pressure falls in the normal range, it means your heart is pumping and your blood is moving at healthy levels.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure in your arteries exceeds average levels. If your arteries are narrow due to plaque buildup or another condition, the pressure against the vessel walls increases as your heart pumps blood through them.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Most people with high blood pressure do not experience symptoms. Primary hypertension develops gradually, and it may be years before symptoms become noticeable. Meanwhile, elevated blood pressure levels silently damage your arteries and organs. Early detection is essential to minimize the risks to your cardiovascular system.
With severe hypertension, you might experience headaches, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness. Seek immediate medical attention for these symptoms.
Due to the lack of noticeable physical symptoms, the best way to detect hypertension is with regular blood pressure readings. Your doctor or health care provider can take your blood pressure at routine appointments to ensure your measurements are within a healthy range or recommend how to lower high blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
Two categories of hypertension exist. Primary hypertension is a prevalent form and typically develops over time. While it has no identifiable cause, several risk factors, including physical changes, genetics and your environment, might contribute to its gradual progression.
Secondary hypertension emerges suddenly, brought on by an underlying condition. Certain medications, drugs and conditions like congenital disorders or kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Treatment
Doctors can often detect hypertension with a simple blood pressure reading and might request further non-invasive tests to make a diagnosis. Early intervention is a key aspect of hypertension treatment. The sooner you detect a potential problem, the less likely it will be to cause damage and severe complications later on.
Primary hypertension treatment often includes lifestyle changes such as eating less salt, increasing your average activity level and losing weight. Your doctor may prescribe medications like diuretics to help lower your blood pressure. Secondary hypertension treatments typically focus on the underlying condition that causes your elevated blood pressure levels.
Whether your blood pressure is on the higher range of the scale or at a normal level, you can take steps to improve your health and lower the risks. Eating a diet low in salt and fats, exercising regularly and decreasing your intake of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs will help keep your blood pressure at a healthy rate. You can also learn how to check your blood pressure at home for regular monitoring.
For more information, contact Modern Heart and Vascular to schedule an appointment today.
This page does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.