Treating High Blood Pressure Happens Before Symptoms Begin

Diligence is the key to surviving this disease.

  • About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure
  • Because the disease compounds over years, it can seem symptomless
  • Tracking blood pressure readings can thwart the onslaught of hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a chronic condition. The damage it causes to blood vessels and organs occurs over the course of years. Many people consider hypertension as a “symptomless” condition. As a matter of fact, with proper blood pressure readings, it is easy to see the progression of this disease.

On the other hand, if one relies on symptoms to indicate a problem, it can come as a surprise. Ignoring blood pressure readings gives the disease somewhat of a “headstart.”

It is dangerous not to be mindful of high blood pressure.

Just a couple of years ago, 1/3 of all Americans had high blood pressure. Another one-third were at risk of hypertension. As recently as this year, guidelines to read blood pressure were updated. Many people who were at risk under the old numbers now have Stage 1 hypertension.

Does your Family Have a History of High Blood Pressure?

Diet can often be a key contributor of hypertension, but we all have heard stories of people who eat well and exercise having blood pressure issues. One reason for this is family history. Parents, uncles and aunts, cousins or grandparents with hypertension significantly increases the risk.

Everyone should be aware of their blood pressure readings. Those numbers are especially important if there is a familial history of hypertension. If left unchecked, it is possible for blood pressure to rise quickly and severely enough to create a hypertensive crisis.

Symptoms for hypertension generally don’t occur until blood pressure readings soar to dangerously high levels. By this time, damage has already happened. In the event of a hypertensive crisis, emergency medical treatment is needed immediately.

Listed below are symptoms a person in hypertensive crisis may experience:

  • Extreme readings
  • Severe headaches
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

How Can Someone Combat Hypertension?

Like many diseases, the best way to prevent or combat hypertension is to catch it early. Awareness of blood pressure readings is the only way to make sure the disease is caught in its early stages. This requires regular checkups with a physician, especially if family history is worrisome.

For patients with hypertension, evaluation of organ function and blood pressure is critical. While some damage has already occurred, a physician can determine ways appropriately manage the disease going forward. Contact us with questions about your blood pressure or to schedule an appointment.

Warning: If you get a blood pressure reading of 180 or higher on top or 110 or higher on the bottom, and are having any symptoms of possible organ damage (chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, difficulty speaking) do not wait to see if your pressure comes down on its own. Call 911 for an ambulance or see your physician immediately.

 

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