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How Can I Know if I Have Hypertension?

How Can I Know if I Have Hypertension?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is infamously known as a “silent killer” because it can damage your body for years without causing noticeable symptoms. That’s why regular blood pressure checks with a health care provider are important. 

If you have complicated high blood pressure, meaning high blood pressure and another cardiovascular condition or risk factor, your primary care provider may refer you to a cardiovascular physician for more specialized care. 

Cardiovascular physician Majed Chane, MD, and the team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists diagnose, treat, and manage a full range of conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels, including hypertension. Having your blood pressure checked is the only way to know if you have hypertension.

If you’re concerned about your blood pressure or your heart health, we have tools available to assess your risk factors for heart disease, check for blockages in blood vessels, track your blood pressure, and make a formal diagnosis. If you have hypertension, Dr. Chane recommends the most appropriate approach to address issues affecting your heart health.

When is high blood pressure a problem?

Blood pressure refers to the force against your artery walls when your heart beats and between beats. Too much force over time damages your blood vessels and sets the stage for serious health issues, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Anytime you receive higher-than-normal blood pressure readings on three separate occasions, there’s a cause for concern. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. When it’s consistently above this number, problems arise. 

Your blood pressure fluctuates normally throughout the day in response to things like stress and exercise. However, these fluctuations are brief, and your blood pressure should return to normal after these brief day-to-day elevations.

Stage 1 hypertension is defined as a blood pressure of 130/80 or above. The higher your blood pressure, the more urgent the need to get it under control. Stage 2 hypertension is when your blood pressure reaches 140/90 or above for a sustained period. 

Who is at risk for high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is incredibly common. Nearly half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many are unaware of it. Undiagnosed and untreated hypertension raises your risk for problems like kidney disease, vision problems, and heart disease. 

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart attack. Your risk of high blood pressure goes up as you age, and while you can’t control getting older, there are risk factors you can control, such as:

Managing your weight, getting enough exercise, eating a heart-healthy diet, and avoiding smoking and drinking excess alcohol can go a long way in controlling your blood pressure. 

Don’t ignore high blood pressure

Even though high blood pressure often causes no symptoms, it’s crucial to work closely with a doctor to manage your elevated blood pressure. Not only does hypertension damage the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your heart and brain, but it also damages the dedicated blood vessels that supply blood to your organs. 

The small and delicate blood vessels that supply your kidneys and eyes with nutrient-rich blood are especially vulnerable to damage from high blood pressure. In fact, hypertension is a leading cause of kidney disease and kidney failure. Don’t put off having your blood pressure checked if you’re concerned. 

As a heart and blood vessel specialist, Dr. Chane can help you keep your heart healthy and strong. It starts with a cardiovascular evaluation to gain insight into your baseline heart and blood vessel health. 

Make your heart health a top priority, and take control of your high blood pressure. Contact our office in Huntington Beach, California, to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Chane. New and existing patients can also request an appointment here on our website.

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