Hypertension is the technical term for high blood pressure, a condition affecting billions of people globally. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the flow of blood in blood vessels. Hypertension occurs when the blood pressure goes above 140/90 and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/100. The current goal for normal blood pressure control is 120/80 a new criteria set by the JNC 8 an expert panel charged with overall approach to blood pressure regulation by all specialties dealing with this disease. Dr. Gelman and his team specialize in bringing blood pressure to goal, as he is a member of the American Hypertension Association a group dedicated to treating and controlling blood pressure in our country and throughout the world.
Symptoms Associated with Hypertension
High blood pressure often does not present symptoms and, in many cases, it isn’t until an annual screening reveals a problem that a person will know they have elevated blood pressure. Left untreated, long-term hypertension can create significant cardiovascular health issues. Other complications which can occur with hypertension include:
- An enlarged heart
- A weakened heart
- A narrowing of the blood vessels
- Blood vessels in the eyes may bleed or rupture
- Aneurysms, or atypical bulges in the wall of the artery threatening rupture
Treatment is easier and more effective when administered during the early stages of the disease. Regular health screenings are an important part of regulating blood pressure levels and hypertension. If the patient has a family history of hypertension, it is highly recommended that they have regular screenings. 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.
Ways to Treat Hypertension
Lifestyle changes can make a big impact on treating high blood pressure. The doctors at Greater Boston Medical Associates can provide helpful tips and advice for keeping blood pressure levels in check such as:
- Minimizing tobacco use
- Limiting consumption of salt
- Limiting alcohol
- Increasing consumption of vegetables and fruits
- Maintaining a diet lower in saturated fat
- Increasing exercise
- Losing weight
- Daily relaxation techniques to quiet the neural impulses causing vascular constriction
If these changes alone do not show signs of improvement, high blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers, vasodilators, or ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers may be prescribed in combination with lifestyle and behavioral changes. Each patient requires a specific set of medications and lifestyle adjustments for no two patients are the same. The average patient requires 3.5 medications to control their blood pressure so no one agent can necessarily correct the blood pressure by itself and periodic adjustments are necessary to get the right combination for the right patient.
The number of 3.5 medications comes from large surveys of millions of patients taking a number of medications some only 1 and some with 4 or 5 so the right medications for you may need to be adjusted and can take a period of time to get this combination just right. If you have had difficulty getting your blood pressure under control you may choose to see one of our practitioners to get your
pressure to goal to decrease your risk factors for cardiovascular damage in the future.