Hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, is a silent killer as it often doesn’t cause any symptoms. At Norwood Medical Associates in Norwood, Massachusetts, Savitha Gowda, MD, Suruchi Kaul, MD, and the team offer hypertension screenings and treatments that minimize your risk of a heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Schedule an appointment at Norwood Medical Associates by phone or request one online today.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) develops when pressure against blood vessel walls is higher than normal. The narrower your arteries and the harder your heart pumps, the higher your blood pressure reading. This reading consists of diastolic and systolic pressure. A healthy blood pressure is generally 120/80 or lower.
High blood pressure affects nearly half of adults in the United States. Children and teenagers can also develop it. Without proper screening, hypertension may turn into a silent killer due to its lack of noticeable symptoms.
Routine hypertension screening can detect heart and blood vessel damage, even without symptoms, as it often develops over many years and affects most adults over time.
When left untreated, high blood pressure can damage your heart and blood vessels, increasing the chance of heart disease, heart failure, a heart attack, or stroke.
The two main types of hypertension are primary (essential), which doesn’t have a known cause and often develops slowly, and secondary hypertension, caused by underlying medical issues. Examples of such issues include:
Birth control pills, cold remedies, over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, and some prescription drugs may boost your chance of secondary hypertension.
Other high blood pressure risk factors include aging, a family history of hypertension, poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and being overweight.
Diagnosing hypertension involves using a blood pressure cuff and a machine or stethoscope. Your provider uses this screening tool to evaluate your blood pressure and determine if you need to alter your lifestyle or current treatment plan.
They ask about your symptoms, medications, medical history, and current lifestyle habits. Your provider completes a physical exam and may order blood tests, heart function testing, or additional diagnostic tests before finalizing your treatment plan.
Treatment for hypertension often includes a combination of lifestyle changes and taking medication. You might also need a medical procedure if you have complications from high blood pressure.
It’s important to take your medicine as directed, get plenty of sleep, minimize stress, eat nutritious foods, control your body weight, and exercise regularly. Your provider may ask you to eat less sodium and more fruits and vegetables.
Avoid smoking and follow up with your Norwood Medical Associates provider whenever needed to evaluate your blood pressure and overall health.
Schedule an appointment at Norwood Medical Associates by phone or request one online today to get screened or treated for hypertension.