Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition affecting billions of people across the world. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the flowing blood on blood vessels. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when blood pressure goes above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120. This is not a strict limit as high blood pressure can occur between a range of 140 to 159 or 90 to 99. In many cases, a person will not even know that he or she has elevated blood pressure until an annual screening reveals an issue.
High blood pressure often does not present symptoms. If left untreated, long-term hypertension can create symptoms and cardiovascular health issues that will need to be assessed by a physician through examination. Treatment is almost always easier during the early stages of a disease, so it is important to have regular screenings, especially if the patient has a family history of hypertension. All adults from the age of 18 should have a blood pressure reading every two years. Those over 40 should request the doctor to perform a blood pressure reading every year. Complications which can go hand-in-hand with hypertension include:
Making small, but significant and sustainable, lifestyle changes can make a big impact on treating high blood pressure. Anyone who used tobacco products should cut back and try to stop smoking. Dr. Jayasundera can provide assistance in breaking this tough habit. Physicians recommend minimizing the consumption of salt and alcohol while increasing the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and foods naturally lower in fat. Exercise and weight loss efforts have been shown to improve blood pressure. A physician can recommend a diet and exercise program that specifically addresses high blood pressure issues. If these changes alone do not show signs of improvement, high blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers, vasodilators, or inhibitors may be prescribed in combination with lifestyle and behavioral changes. The prescribed of medication will depend on the unique needs of the patient.