High blood pressure or hypertension is sometimes referred to as ‘the silent killer.’ It gained this reputation because the condition arises without exhibiting early symptoms, yet, from its outset, it places an additional load on the blood vessels and the heart. Studies have demonstrated a link between hypertension and risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
According to the National Institute of Health, one in three adults in America suffers from hypertension. While many of these individuals are in treatment and controlling their blood pressure levels, many more individuals are unaware they have the disease and its associated risks. There are, however, several risk factors linked to the incidence of hypertension. Among these are cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, and lack of physical activities. A person taking part in any of these activities should check their blood pressure regularly with their physician.
Many of these practices result from our modern-day work and life routines, so personal efforts are usually necessary to develop and maintain good lifestyle habits. Maintaining good health is the first line of defense against hypertension. Nevertheless, for those who are aware they already have high blood pressure, many medications and treatments are available to help lower cardiovascular risks.
Professionals classify blood pressure according to its severity. Measurements are taken using an inflatable arm cuff and a pressure measurement device. Two different pressures are measured, the pressure when your heart pumps (the systolic pressure (the higher number or SBP) is the pressure exerted by your heart when it pumps blood through the vessels. The diastolic pressure (the lower number or DBP) is the pressure in your vessels between heartbeats.) The four stages of blood pressure severity are:
- Normal (< 120 SBP and < 80 DBP)
- Prehypertension (120-139 SPB and 80-89 DPB)
- Stage 1 Hypertension (140-159 SBP and 90-99 DPB)
- Stage 2 Hypertension (≥160 SBP and ≥100 DBP)
The greater the pressure, the greater the risks of heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.
Many treatment options are available based on the stage of hypertension and other health conditions. Developing good lifestyle habits, including quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight and diet, are the first step to controlling high blood pressure. In addition, a variety of medications can be used to help. Some of these include:
- Calcium Channel Blockers
- Renin Inhibitors, and
Trained medical professionals must develop an appropriate treatment plan. If you have not recently checked your blood pressure, visit one of Emergency Hospital Systems ER’s, let a professional take a blood pressure reading as well as discuss any possible treatment options that may be necessary. Emergency Hospital Systems’ ER’s are open 24/7/365, and we welcome walk-ins. Our wait times are short, and there is ample, close-in, free parking. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because the condition may not exhibit symptoms yet be creating long term health issues. Check with one of our four locations, conveniently located in our communities with two in Cleveland, and one each in Spring and Humble. Feel free to call for an appointment or questions, 281-592-5400.