Even if you don’t have any symptoms, elevated blood pressure (hypertension) that’s left untreated can significantly increase your risk of heart attack and stroke (called silent killer). The cardiac specialists at AdvaCardio are experts at blood pressure control. They serve the residents of the Houston metropolitan area from locations in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. This dedicated team of highly-trained professionals can devise a treatment plan that gets your blood pressure back to normal and decreases your chances of developing serious medical complications often associated with hypertension. Call today for an appointment or use their online scheduling service.
The simple definition for “hypertension” is elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure measures the force with which your blood is flowing through your arteries and the “tension” that pressure applies against the artery walls.
This helps determine the amount of blood your heart is pumping as well as the resistance the blood flow encounters as it journeys through your arteries. When resistance is higher than normal, your blood pressure becomes elevated. Over time, untreated hypertension can lead to serious health complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Unfortunately, hypertension usually causes few symptoms until it creates complications, such as narrowing of the coronary arteries leading to shortness of breath or chest pain. Most people only discover their blood pressure is higher than normal when they visit their doctor for a routine exam or an acute illness, such as a cold.
Because your blood pressure may temporarily increase when you’re stressed about having a physical or when you’re ill, your doctor may recommend several follow-up checks before diagnosing you with hypertension.
Doctors use two numbers to evaluate your blood pressure. The upper number measures your systolic pressure, the force that occurs when your heart beats. The second number calculates your diastolic pressure, the force with which blood moves through your arteries between beats. Your blood pressure is typically considered normal when it’s below 120/80.
Hypertension generally worsens over time if left untreated and is rated in stages and ranges:
This type of hypertension affects tiny arteries in your lungs called arterioles. When these small vessels become narrowed or blocked, your blood has a harder time flowing through your lungs and raises the pressure in your pulmonary arteries. As the pressure worsens, your lower right heart chamber (ventricle) must work much harder to pump blood through your lungs, which causes it to weaken.
Depending on its severity, your doctor may recommend a combination of lifestyle modifications such as weight loss and improved diet, as well as one or more medications to reduce your blood pressure.