What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition that happens when the force of blood against the walls of your arteries (blood pressure) is consistently too high. Without treatment, high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including:
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Disease
- Peripheral Artery Disease
Fortunately, it’s easy for the expert team at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates to detect hypertension. Once they settle on your diagnosis, they work with you to bring your blood pressure under control.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer because you can have this condition for many years without knowing it. Most people with hypertension have no signs or symptoms, even if their blood pressure is dangerously high.
That’s why it’s important to get regular blood pressure screenings from your primary care physician.
Who is at risk for high blood pressure?
Many factors increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, including:
- Increasing age
- Family history of high blood pressure
- Having diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Not being physically active
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too much sodium
- Not eating enough potassium
- Using tobacco
A condition called prehypertension means your blood pressure is slightly higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose hypertension. Prehypertension is reversible, but if left untreated, it increases your risk of developing long-term high blood pressure.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed and treated?
High blood pressure is easy to diagnose with a simple blood pressure measurement. Your provider at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates places an inflatable cuff around your arm and measures your blood pressure with a gauge.
If you have hypertension, the team at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates may recommend you purchase a blood pressure monitor to use at home. These devices are inexpensive and widely available.
After they diagnose your condition, your provider at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates develops an individualized treatment plan to control your blood pressure. In addition to monitoring your blood pressure at home, they may recommend lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, the team at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates may prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure.
To find out how you can maintain a healthy blood pressure, call South Shore Cardiovascular Associates or book an appointment online today.