High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the long-term force of the blood is high enough against the artery walls, which gradually causes heart disease and other problems.

Your blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and your arteries’ resistance to blood flow. In other words, your blood pressure will be high if your arteries are very narrow and your heart is pumping a lot of blood.

This condition is very common and develops over time. Luckily, it is easily detected and controlled.

What are the symptoms?

Hypertension can be present for years without any signs or symptoms. In fact, this can be true of people with dangerously high blood pressure levels. But while you may be feeling normal, damage to your blood vessels and heart occurs. The risk of heart attacks and strokes can occur if high blood pressure goes uncontrolled for too long.

Other symptoms include headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath, but these are not specific to high blood pressure, and only occur at severe or life-threatening stages.

What are the treatments for high blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is usually taken during routine doctor’s visits, so you’ll be able to monitor hypertension that way. If you are 18 or older, you should have your blood pressure taken every two years or so. If you are around the age of 40 or older, it is recommended that you have your blood pressure taken every year.

If you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or you have other risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, your doctor will talk to you about more frequent readings.*

* Individual results may vary.

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