Hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, occurs when a person has a blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg. People who have blood pressure readings of 120-139/80-89 mmHg are considered to have pre-hypertension. Normal blood pressure should be lower than 120/80 mmHg.
The first number in a blood pressure reading, known as systolic blood pressure, gauges the amount of pressure within the blood vessels as the heart beats. The other number, known as diastolic blood pressure, gauges the amount of pressure within the blood vessels as the heart pauses between beats.
Hypertension can cause very severe health problems and could even lead to death if left untreated. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, including potential heart failure. Heart attack, kidney damage, stroke, and vision loss are all possible if hypertension remains untreated.
One of the most frightening aspects of hypertension is that it doesn't cause symptoms. Because of this, it's vital for patients to have regular wellness exams. Preventive care can make all the difference in cases of hypertension. During an annual physical, the healthcare providers at Danvers Family Doctors, P.C. check blood pressure, and for signs of hypertension and other illnesses.
Older people have a higher risk of hypertension. Although that risk factor can't be prevented, many others can. An inactive lifestyle, poor diet, regular tobacco use, regular excessive alcohol consumption, and excess weight are all hypertension risk factors that can be controlled. People who have hypertension in their family, particularly if their parents suffer from the condition, may have an increased risk, so they need to be especially vigilant about prevention.
Hypertension can be managed in several ways, but it requires a commitment from the patient. Lifestyle changes must be made to deal with hypertension effectively. These typically include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption. There are also hypertension medications that can help bring blood pressure into the normal range.