Nearly half of all adults have high blood pressure, a silent disease that’s the primary or contributing cause of 500,000 deaths every year. The experienced team at Cardiology Associates of Frederick, in Frederick, Maryland, offers blood pressure screenings, develops a plan to help you prevent the problem, and provides customized treatment to restore normal blood pressure. If you have questions or need ongoing management for high blood pressure, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Your blood pressure is determined by the force of blood pushing against the artery walls. If you want to stay healthy, your blood pressure needs to remain within a normal range.
When your pressure drops below normal, your brain, organs, nerves, and muscles don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood to function. If your blood pressure rises above the normal range, it damages your arteries and heart and leads to health complications.
In most cases, high blood pressure is associated with unhealthy lifestyle factors, including:
Though not as common, high blood pressure can develop due to a chronic health condition such as sleep apnea, thyroid disease, and chronic kidney disease.
High blood pressure accelerates the development of atherosclerosis. Untreated high blood pressure damages arterial walls. The damage creates a rough spot where cholesterol can easily stick to the artery.
Over time, the fatty plaque enlarges, hardens, and blocks the flow of blood through the vessel. That’s when you have atherosclerosis.
As atherosclerosis gets progressively worse, you’re at risk of developing:
High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
High blood pressure is called a silent disease because it doesn’t cause symptoms. You won’t have any signs until arterial blood flow becomes so severely blocked that you develop symptoms like chest pain or leg pain.
Unfortunately, the first symptom of high blood pressure is often a heart attack or stroke.
Your treatment depends on the severity of your high blood pressure. If you get a blood pressure screening and catch the problem at an early stage, you may only need to make lifestyle changes.
For example, eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise, losing weight, and stopping smoking can bring your blood pressure back into the normal range.
If lifestyle changes don’t help or you have advanced hypertension, your cardiologist prescribes antihypertensive medications. They also treat underlying conditions, such as high cholesterol, that contribute to high blood pressure.
To learn more about your risk of developing high blood pressure, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or request an appointment online today.