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What Is Hypertension and What Can I Do About It?

What Is Hypertension and What Can I Do About It?

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a potentially serious cardiovascular disease, and you can have it for years without any noticeable warning signs.

At Chinatown Cardiology, with five New York City locations, our team of cardiovascular experts has extensive experience diagnosing and treating hypertension. 

We offer resources that help you keep your blood pressure under control over the long term to reduce your risk of complications like heart attack and stroke.

What you need to know about hypertension

Your blood pressure is a measurement of the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. These are the vessels that carry blood away from your heart to the rest of your body.

Healthy blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day, but if it stays high for a prolonged period of time, it can damage your arteries and, over time, your heart.

There are two classes of hypertension:

Primary hypertension

Primary hypertension describes high blood pressure that develops gradually over many years for no identifiable reason.

Secondary hypertension

Secondary hypertension develops as a result of an underlying medical issue. Common conditions that can elevate your blood pressure include thyroid disorders, kidney disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.

You might also experience an increase in your blood pressure if you take birth control pills, certain over-the-counter cold medications, or illegal drugs.

Other risk factors for hypertension

Many factors can play a role in causing hypertension. As you get older, your blood pressure may increase; this is especially true in people over 65.

Obesity can also affect your blood pressure because extra weight puts pressure on your blood vessels. Your body also needs more blood to ensure your tissues get the nutrients and oxygen it needs to function.

Additional risk factors for hypertension include:

If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, you’re more likely to develop chronic hypertension.

Without treatment, uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart failure, stroke, heart attack, and other potentially life-threatening conditions. The sooner you get your blood pressure under control, the better it is for your long-term health.

Tips for managing hypertension

The first thing you need to do is get your blood pressure checked. Since hypertension typically doesn’t cause symptoms until cardiovascular damage occurs, you should schedule routine blood pressure checks to identify hypertension in the earliest stage.

If your blood pressure is a little elevated, you might lower it naturally with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s also important that you keep your stress under control and manage underlying medical conditions properly.

When your blood pressure is moderately or severely high, you may need to take medications. Some medications help eliminate excess fluids from your body, and others relax your blood vessels to improve blood circulation.

Our team might also recommend cardiovascular testing like an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (EKG), or bloodwork to check for heart damage and other complications of hypertension.

To schedule a hypertension management consultation, call one of the convenient Chinatown Cardiology locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or book an appointment online today.

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