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The Dangers of Hypertension

Despite its prevalence, hypertension often goes undetected because symptoms are nearly silent – until it leads to severe health complications, including heart attack, stroke, and death.

The cardiologists at Premier Cardiology Consultants in New York City can help with the health complications of elevated blood pressure. However, we’d prefer to prevent rather than treat those complications whenever possible.

Read more from our team about the dangers of hypertension and why early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.

Understanding hypertension

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. Hypertension occurs when this pressure is consistently too high.

Normal blood pressure is typically around 120/80 mmHg. One or two high blood pressure readings won’t lead to a diagnosis of hypertension. However, a blood pressure that consistently exceeds 130/80 mmHg over a series of random checks leads to a diagnosis of hypertension.

The dangers of hypertension

The health dangers of hypertension are significant and may include:

Increased risk of heart disease and stroke

Hypertension is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The continuous strain on the arteries can lead to damage and narrowing, heightening the risk of clot formation and increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

Although the coronary arteries get a lot of attention, inadequately treated hypertension also damages arteries that supply blood to the arms, legs, and other vital organs. This damage may lead to conditions like peripheral vascular disease.    

Kidney damage

High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, affecting their ability to properly filter waste from the blood. Over time, this can lead to kidney disease or kidney failure requiring dialysis.

Unfortunately, hypertension can trigger kidney damage, and kidney damage can trigger elevated blood pressure, creating a complex cycle that can gravely affect your overall health.

Vision loss

Poorly managed hypertension can damage the small blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision problems and even blindness over time.

Cognitive decline

Research suggests that hypertension may increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.

Aneurysm

High blood pressure can weaken the walls of arteries, causing them to bulge and form aneurysms. If an aneurysm bursts, it can be life-threatening.

Treating hypertension

Ideally, we treat high blood pressure before it becomes consistently elevated with changes in diet, increased exercise, weight loss, and other conservative therapies that can restore normal blood pressure readings.

This is why routine blood pressure checks are essential, regardless of your age or overall health. Most physician offices check your blood pressure whenever you present for care, from a sick visit to chronic disease management.

Our Premier Cardiology Consultants team also recommends home self-checks with an easy-to-read digital blood pressure monitor available online or through your local pharmacy.    

The goal, of course, is to reduce your blood pressure naturally. However, medication is a crucial component of treatment and, depending on your blood pressure levels, may include:

Your Premier Cardiology Consultants specialist may adjust your medication therapy over time, depending on your response to diet, routine exercise, and other lifestyle changes. 

Don’t let hypertension ruin your health. Schedule an evaluation at Premier Cardiology Consultants today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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