High blood pressure means you’re experiencing greater pressure than normal in your arteries, which causes dangerous narrowing, blockages, and life-threatening aneurysms. It can also damage your heart, leading to enlargements and failure. Further, high blood pressure compromises the blood sent to your brain, resulting possibly in dementia and stroke. You may compromise the function of your kidneys, resulting in kidney failure. And, your eyes and sexual health may be negatively affected by high blood pressure.
About 50% of people with untreated high blood pressure die of heart disease and around one-third of people die of stroke.
High blood pressure doesn’t usually have any outward symptoms, which is why it’s often called the “silent killer.” While blood pressure doesn’t cause the following symptoms, they’re often more common in people with the condition:
If these symptoms are chronic or interfering with your quality of life, consult Family Care of Fairview. They could be a sign of other serious conditions, too.
If your blood pressure consistently measures at 120/80, you should have it closely monitored. You’re considered prehypertensive, and likely to develop high blood pressure without intervention when you consistently measure between 120-139 systolic (higher number) or 80-89 diastolic (lower number). Stage 1 hypertension is diagnosed when the systolic measure is 140-159 or the diastolic is 90-99. Stage 2 is when you have a systolic measure of 160 or greater or 100 or greater on the diastolic.
The higher number, systolic, measures the pressure of your blood when your heart beats to pump blood; the lower number, diastolic, is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.
If you’re diagnosed as pre-hypertensive or hypertensive, your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes. These include dietary modifications, less alcohol intake, more physical activity, and stress reduction. The doctor may also prescribe medications, such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, to help mitigate high blood pressure. The medication prescribed really depend on your health history and needs.
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