Open Accessibility Menu

Taking Control of High Blood Pressure

Taking Control of High Blood Pressure

We hear all the time about high blood pressure being unhealthy, but let’s dive into what high blood pressure is and why it’s risky. 

What is hypertension? 

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels continues to be too high over time. High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.  

Overworking the heart in this way taxes the lower left heart chamber, or left ventricle, causing it to thicken and enlarge. That damage significantly increases the risk of a heart attack or heart failure. 

Numbers Game 

The next step in understanding hypertension is learning the numbers. At what reading is your blood pressure considered high?  

As soon as the first number (systolic) reads 130 or higher, the reading is considered high blood pressure. 

Check out the chart below to understand more about blood pressure readings and elevated readings. 

“Silent Killer” 

Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, but many don’t even know they have it. Without regular checkups and blood pressure monitoring, people can go years with blood pressure creeping into dangerous zones before the damage causes symptoms. 

That’s why high blood pressure has been dubbed the “silent killer.” Like many health conditions, keeping track of your blood pressure is essential in reducing risk and addressing problems before major health events like a heart attack occur.  

Combatting High Blood Pressure 

The first step in addressing a problem is knowing you have it. If you haven’t had your blood pressure assessed lately, make an appointment with a primary care provider (PCP) at North Oaks and get your blood pressure checked. 

Your PCP can refer you to a cardiologist or heart specialist if necessary. From there, medications and lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, diet improvements and becoming more active can help control the rise of high blood pressure. 

Click here to learn more about North Oaks Primary care. 

Click here to learn more about North Oaks Cardiology.