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How Can You Tell If You Have High Blood Pressure

What Are The Types Of High Blood Pressure

3 Ways to Tell if You Have High Blood Pressure Symptoms

If you have high blood pressure with no known single cause, this is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension. Most people have this type of hypertension. If you have high blood pressure which is caused by another health problem, this is known as secondary hypertension, and treating the cause should bring your blood pressure back down to normal.

Summary: Eye Examination Tests For Hypertension

Regular comprehensive eye exams are pertinent for all ages, especially if your family has a history of high blood pressure. Vision disturbance and high blood pressure are also connected when left untreated.

Hypertension can make you more likely to get choroidopathy and optic neuropathy, among other eye issues. You might also experience ocular hypertension, which can cause glaucoma over time.

Fortunately, an eye test can detect high blood pressure, giving you peace of mind during the eye exam. Our optometrists will be there for you every step of the way, ready to answer any of your questions about high blood pressure eye symptoms . They may also send you to a primary care physician for further evaluation if you need it.

How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure

Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless.

Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.

High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.

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What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:

  • coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
  • strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
  • heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked

Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.

What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure

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Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about

  • Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress

Learn more about ways to manage and prevent high blood pressure.

In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.

Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.

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What A Blood Test Can Do For High Blood Pressure

Once youve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, routine lab tests are recommended before a doctor determines your treatment . One of those tests will be a blood test. A blood test will show a doctor the levels of different substances in your blood for the following:

  • Your cholesterol levels.
  • Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate.

Adopting A Cleaner Lifestyle

If youre a smoker, try to quit. The chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the bodys tissues and harden blood vessel walls.

If you regularly consume too much alcohol or have an alcohol dependency, seek help to reduce the amount you drink or stop altogether. Alcohol can raise blood pressure.

One of the easiest ways you can treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is through your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.

Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.

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Other Tests For High Blood Pressure

In addition to a blood test, other tests will be recommended to help determine the cause of your high blood pressure and treatment. They are not used to detect high blood pressure. Those tests may include the following:

Urine test: A urine test can help determine a cause of high blood pressure. This test may show possible diabetes, kidney problems or drugs contributing to high blood pressure.

Echocardiogram: This uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart . It can help determine the following problems which may affect blood pressure:

  • Hearts pumping strength.
  • Any growths or tumors around your valves.
  • Any problems with blood vessels around the heart.
  • Holes in the heart chambers.
  • Blood clots.

Electrocardiogram: An EKG assesses your heart rhythm . If your heart rhythm is abnormal, it can affect your blood pressure.

Cat Scan or MRI: These 2 tests allow a doctor to see inside your body . For high blood pressure, this test may detect any tumors, blood clots or excess fluid on or around your kidneys or adrenal glands.

Ultrasound: This test can show a doctor any blood flow problems by checking blood vessels and kidneys. To expand ultrasound testing, recently a small patch was created that can attach to the skin like a bandage. The patch contains ultrasound transducers and can be placed over any artery selected .

The testing mentioned can help a doctor recommend a treatment for high blood pressure. One of those treatments is your nutrition.

Heart Attack And Heart Disease

How to know if you have high blood pressure

High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

  • Chest pain, also called angina.
  • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
  • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

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What Diet Helps Control High Blood Pressure

  • Eat foods that are lower in fat, salt and calories, such as skim or 1% milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole grain rice, and pasta.
  • Use flavorings, spices and herbs to make foods tasty without using salt. The optimal recommendation for salt in your diet is to have less than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day. Don’t forget that most restaurant foods and many processed and frozen foods contain high levels of salt. Use herbs and spices that do not contain salt in recipes to flavor your food do not add salt at the table.
  • Avoid or cut down on butter and margarine, regular salad dressings, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, fried foods, processed foods or fast foods, and salted snacks.
  • Ask your provider if you should increase potassium in your diet Discuss the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet with your provider. The DASH diet emphasizes adding fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet while reducing the amount of sodium. Since it is rich in fruits and vegetables, which are naturally lower in sodium than many other foods, the DASH diet makes it easier to eat less salt and sodium.

Get To Know Your Numbers

Because there arent any symptoms, its important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Get to know the numbers and when to get help from your doctor.

Your blood pressure will have two numbers:

  • Systolic is the upper number, measuring when your heart is forcing blood through your vessels.
  • Diastolic is the lower number, measuring pressure between heart beats.

For example, 120/80 indicates a systolic blood pressure of 120 and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm/Hg.

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What Are The Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure

  • High blood pressure can be experienced by people with certain risk factors. Know them to understand if you are at risk and to know if your blood pressure is high.As age advances, the risks of high blood pressure increases.
  • A family history of blood pressure can increase your risk too.
  • If you weight more than what is ideal, it increases the volume of blood circulated, thus increasing the pressure on the arteries.
  • If you are used to a sedentary lifestyle and have not being active, your chances of having high blood pressure can increase.
  • Dietary factors like excess salt, too much consumption of oily and fried food can put you at an increased risk of high blood pressure and other problems like high cholesterol.
  • Taking low amounts of potassium can also disturb the balance and cause excess accumulation of sodium in the blood.
  • Inadequate vitamin D levels can interfere with an enzyme production in the kidneys, which plays an important role in regulating blood pressure.
  • Consumption of alcohol, smoking and use of tobacco, in general increases the risk of several medical ailments including high blood pressure.
  • Lifestyle habits play an important role and stress can add to your risk of having high blood pressure.

How Does Blood Pressure Work

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Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.

Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.

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Pounding In Your Ears

If you have a sensation of pulsing or pounding in your ears when you havent been exercising vigorously, this could indicate an elevated blood pressure. It could also be related to drinking too much caffeine, so try cutting back on the coffee and soda. Anxiety can have the same effect, so try meditation or a relaxing activity to see if the pounding sensation resolves.

Why Is High Blood Pressure A Problem

High blood pressure puts an extra strain on your heart and blood vessels, which can damage them and make them weaker. Over time, this can lead to including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, some forms of dementia, kidney disease and peripheral arterial disease.

If you have as well as high blood pressure, such as diabetes or high cholesterol, this makes serious health problems in the future more likely, making it more important to take steps to .

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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers, such as 120/80. One number is your systolic blood pressure and the other is your diastolic pressure.

  • Systolic blood pressure: The first number . This is the pressure when the heart pumps blood out to the rest of the body.

  • Diastolic blood pressure: The second number . This is the pressure when blood returns to the heart.

Both pressures are measured in millimeters of mercury . This is because blood pressure used to be measured using a device filled with a column of mercury. Now, blood pressure can be checked using an automated machine at home or in your providers office. Blood pressure can still be checked by hand, too, with a stethoscope, inflatable cuff, and manual gauge.

Can A Blood Test Detect High Blood Pressure

How do you know if you have High Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, a doctor will recommend a variety of tests. Its possible youll receive a urine test, cholesterol test, electrocardiogram and more than likely a blood test. But if you havent been diagnosed, can a blood test alone determine you have high blood pressure?

Can a blood test detect high blood pressure? A blood test cannot detect high blood pressure. The best way to diagnose high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure measured. A blood test may help determine the cause of your high blood pressure, any organ damage and possible treatment.

Can diagnosing high blood pressure be that simple, just measuring your blood pressure? Yes, but its a little more involved than taking one blood pressure measurement. One isolated high blood pressure reading is not enough to make a diagnosis.

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Blood Pressure Is Mostly A Silent Disease

Unfortunately, high blood pressure can happen without feeling any abnormal symptoms.

Moderate or severe headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, palpitations, or feeling of pulsations in the neck are some signs of high blood pressure. Often, these are late signs that high blood pressure has existed for some time, therefore annual checks are recommended for all adults.

What Is A Normal Blood Pressure

Both the American Heart Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have published guidelines for defining healthy and elevated blood pressure. You can follow either guidelines, depending on what you and your doctor agree is acceptable.

USPSTF Guidelines for Blood Pressure
Normal Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic:Less than 80 mm Hg
Elevated Diastolic: < Less than 80 mm Hg
AHA Guidelines for Blood Pressure
Normal Systolic: Less than 120 mm Hg Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg
Elevated Diastolic: Less than 80 mm Hg
High Blood Pressure Stage 1 Systolic: 130-139 mm Hg
High Blood Pressure Stage 2 Systolic: 140 mm Hg or higher Diastolic: 90 mm Hg or higher
Hypertensive Crisis Systolic: Higher than 180 mm Hg Diastolic: Higher than 120 mm Hg

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High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore

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If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.

While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.

For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

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One in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure and many dont even know it. How can this be? Because high blood pressure rarely has any symptoms.

High blood pressure or hypertension is known as a silent disease because you may not feel any symptoms at all, says Priscilla Bullen, FNP-BC, of Riverside Primary Care Hidenwood. It increases your risk of heart disease, heart failure, stroke and heart attack.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessel walls. High blood pressure is when that force is higher than normal. It often has no signs or symptoms and can lead to other health problems if its not treated.

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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated

If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.

Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes. If you have hypertension, your doctor might want you to:

Eat a healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit salt.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Get regular exercise:

  • Try to exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. But teens with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.

Not smoke. Or if you do smoke, quit:

  • People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.

If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.

How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.

In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.

Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.

Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.

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