Taking Blood Pressure Before Your Dental Visit
Although we are well aware that normal blood pressure is important to a persons health, there are far too many dental professionals who have fallen out of practice in taking their patients vitals before beginning treatment. As licensed health-care professionals, it is the standard of care for dental hygienists to assess and record blood pressure on all of their patients. The reading must then be discussed with the patient as a means of helping him take charge of his overall health. Listed below are 6 reasons why dental hygienists must take blood pressure on each patient.By and large, dental patients who are not being treated by their primary care physician for a systemic disease will typically view themselves as being healthy. These same patients typically see their dental hygienist two to four times per year for routine preventive care yet may only visit their physician every few years.
Dental hygienists are in a unique position to assess blood pressure and increase our patients awareness about the risks associated with untreated hypertension due to the sheer number of times we see an individual patient on an annual basis. When we inform an unknowing patient that he or she has undetected, uncontrolled hypertension, the dental visit then serves as an entry point for the person to take charge of his or her overall health.
2. Nunn P. Medical emergencies in the oral health care setting. J Dent Hyg. 2000 74: 136-151.
What Can I Do The Day Of The Exam To Ensure That My Blood Pressure Is At Its Lowest Point
If you suffer from high blood pressure the first thing you should always do is have it medically managed. See your doctor and follow their advice. Also, dont forget to take your medications if you are medically managed. Taking your meds is important to having a good blood pressure during your DOT physical. So, dont forget to take your meds as directed by your treating provider.
The day of the exam, and maybe a few days before there are some other things that you may do to help ensure that your BP will be as low as is possible.
How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure On The Day Of My Medical Exam
Blood pressure has long been a source of stress for the truck driver. It is frequently referred to as the silent killer by many of us who work in health care. If you suffer high blood pressure it is important that it is controlled and managed. This can be done through natural means such as with exercises, diet and weight loss. It may also be accomplished through medical management such as with the prescription of blood pressure medications. Whatever way you choose, the blood pressure on the day of your exam must still be below 140/90 in order to certify without delay. Lets first take a look at some basic information about blood pressure before getting into managing it on the day of your exam.
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White Coat Hypertension Stress And Heart Disease Risk
A new white coat hypertension study, published in Hypertension in June 2015, looked at heart disease risk. The study included 3,200 people in Italy. These patients were seen in a doctors office for three blood pressure measurements. Then they were sent home with a 24-hour blood pressure monitor that sampled their blood pressure every 20 minutes. When the patients returned, they had three more office blood pressure measurements. With these measurements, the researchers could determine what was happening to the blood pressure in the doctors office and throughout the day.
White coat hypertension was diagnosed if the average office blood pressure measurement was higher than 140 mgHg for systolic blood pressure or higher than 90 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure but the 24-hour average blood pressures were normal.
Then the investigators divided the group with white coat hypertension into two: those who experienced high blood pressure frequently with stress, and those who experienced high blood pressure occasionally with stress.
This is a summary of their findings about heart disease risk over 20 years of follow-up care:
Get In A Quiet Room And Calm Yourself Down
If you are in a crowded place, shelter yourself in a quiet room immediately.
The undertone is to get away from the crowd. High BP triggers anxiety and breathlessness which needs isolation.
However, its advisable to keep a friend around just in case the situation goes out of hand.
But it is important to get away from the crowd and focus on yourself to get a hold of yourself.
Erratic heartbeat, ragged breathing, and flashes of warmth are signs of hypertension. Therefore, these are the signs you should look out for!
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Why It Is Important
As part of the process you will have to undergo the DOT Physical exam. This is a legal requirement needed for your medical certificate, more commonly known as a DOT medical card.
So to bring the point home with other words, in order for you to obtain your CDL license, you will have to take the DOT Physical exam.
The exam will take only 30-45 minutes of your time , and in those cases the doctor visit can last longer.
As said, the DOT Physical exam is required and regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration .
It is used to determine whether or not the drivers health condition fulfills and meets all the FMCSA standards needed. It can be performed only by certified medical examiners that are listed on the FMCSAs National Registry.
So, based off this exam is your driving career future! The DOT Physical exam will determine whether you are or you are not legally capable of operating a commercial truck and can perform all the job duties, or any related job duty in matter of fact.
The good part of it is that once you take and pass the DOT Physical Exam you are good to go for the next two years when its time to re-take the test.
If you do not have truck driver health insurance the DOT physical exam can still be done but it will cost you somewhere between $50 and $300.
Check Your Blood Pressure Twice A Day For A Week
What many dont realize about blood pressure is that it changes throughout the day. Its recommended that you check your blood pressure in the morning and evening, especially if youre taking blood pressure medication. Its also important to check your blood pressure at the same times every day. Checking your blood pressure several days in a row gives you a more accurate average of your readings.
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Can Anxiety Treatment Cause High Blood Pressure
Yes. Some medications used for treatment of anxiety can lead to increased blood pressure when taken alone or in combination with other medications. These include:
Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , such as venlafaxine
Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors , such as bupropion
After prescribing medication for anxiety, your physician will monitor you closely to determine if there are significant changes in your blood pressure.
Physicians take special care to avoid prescribing medications that can cause high blood pressure to those who already have a diagnosis of hypertension. This is why it is important to remind your doctor about any personal or family history of high blood pressure, so that they can select the safest medication for you.
Is White Coat Hypertension A Concern
You might be thinking, So what if my blood pressure is a little high for a few minutes while Im at the doctors office? Its fine the rest of the time so it cant be that big of a deal
While White Coat Hypertension is largely nothing to worry about, it can be an early-indicator of potential future problems. In other words, if a doctors office visit can stress you out to the point of physical symptoms, its not a far leap to assume that you experience those same symptoms with other day-to-day stressors like work or family .
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Causes Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure builds slowly over time. This is one reason you may not notice your symptoms. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like poor diet and a lack of exercise are factors that impact your blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure
While periods of high anxiety or panic attacks can cause temporary rises in blood pressure and heart rate, there is not enough evidence to confirm that anxiety disorders cause long term hypertension though it has been suggested in certain studies.
When you become anxious or stressed, your body responds with surges in certain hormones, which can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. In isolation, occasional spikes in blood pressure do not lead to hypertension. But, if stress-induced spikes in blood pressure happen often enough, like every day, this can cause blood vessel damage and put stress on the heart and kidneys. These harmful effects are similar to what happens in people with hypertension.
Another way that anxiety can contribute to high blood pressure is that people often respond to stress with unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Here are some behaviors that can cause hypertension:
Smoking or vaping
Eating too much and/or eating unhealthy food
Not exercising or maintaining a healthy weight
Not getting enough sleep
Not taking their prescribed medications for high blood pressure
Rarely, medications to treat anxiety, such asserotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors can cause an increase in blood pressure. Your health care provider may have to adjust your medications if you develop high blood pressure as a side effect.
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Stop Drinking Water Before
Its a little-known fact that water affects your blood pressure, causing it to rise. Its not a large increasewater, after all, is the healthiest thing you can ingestbut it does increase your blood pressure. When youre about to visit a doctor, you want to do whatever you can do naturally lower your blood pressure, because the stress and worry associated with doctors appointments are already making your blood pressure rise. So stop drinking water temporarily, just a few hours before your appointment. Itll help lower your blood pressure, and every little bit helps.
How Often Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure
High blood pressure doesnt always cause symptoms, so its important to get your blood pressure checked. Recent guidelines recommend that all adults age 40 and older check their blood pressure at least once per year. Younger adults can check it every three to five years, or every year if they are at higher risk.
If you already have high blood pressure, you will need to check your blood pressure more frequently especially when you are starting or adjusting medications. Once your blood pressure stabilizes with treatment, you usually wont need to check it as often. Regular monitoring is still important, though, because your blood pressure can change over time, even when youre taking medications.
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Risks And Complications Of High Blood Pressure
All medications have the potential for side effects, so talk to your doctor about what to expect. Since other medical conditions are the leading causes of high blood pressure, your doctor will talk to you about your options for treating any other medical conditions you have.
The greatest risk lies in not addressing your high blood pressure.
Leaving it untreated can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart, and organs. It also puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack. Talk to your doctor about any blood pressure-related concerns you may have.
Other ways to lower your blood pressure over time include:
Practice Slow Deep Beathing For 5 Minutes
Lots of drivers have failed DOT physicals simply from being nervous about their results. If you already know that you have above average blood pressure, you may feel that overwhelming anxiety of the results. The irony behind this is youre possibly raising your blood pressure by worrying about it. Slow deep breathes have been known to temporarily lower your blood pressure.
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Can Anxiety Make Blood Pressure Go Up
While occasional anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure, it can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure during those anxiety episodes. If those temporary spikes in blood pressure occur every day or frequently, they can damage blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys in the long run or cause high blood pressure. Talk to a healthcare provider about medication if your anxiety interferes with your daily activities.If you want to learn more about hypertension, check our guide What does hypertension mean?
Natural Techniques To Relax Before Your Next Doctors Appointment
Last Updated on By Harris Loveall
Are you one of the millions of people with iatrophobia? If you dont know what iatrophobia is, its a fear of doctors and going to the doctor. You stress when you have to make an appointment. Maybe you even cancel the appointment, and then have to call back a few days or a week later to reschedule. This fear is common, but you can master it. Here are a few tips to help you calm down before your next visit to the doctor.
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What Truck Drivers Need To Know About Lowering Blood Pressure
- Truck drivers with high blood pressure can be medically certified to drive, but will have to lower their BP to under 140/90.
- Drivers with high blood pressure who have been medically certified will be required to re-certify at least once each year rather than every 2 years.
- Blood pressure medication is an FMCSA acceptable method for BP control, but there are also lifestyle methods that will help drivers stay healthy and fit for driving.
- Small changes in diet, weight, exercise, and sleep patterns can help lower blood pressure both short and long-term.
- People with high blood pressure should always consult with their doctor before undergoing any extreme diet or lifestyle changes.
What Is Masked Hypertension
Masked hypertension is the opposite of white coat hypertension. Patients with masked hypertension have normal blood pressure readings at the doctors office but have high blood pressure readings in other settings, such as in their home. Both white coat syndrome and masked hypertension are concerning conditions as both might lead to a wrong diagnosis and medication errors and both paint a strong case for the need of frequent BP monitoring outside the doctors office or hospital.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
A blood pressure reading is taken to measure how forcefully your blood flows through your circulatory system. There are two numbers associated with blood pressure:
Systolic: This is the higher number and measures blood pressure during a heartbeat.
Diastolic: This is the lower number and measures blood pressure in between heartbeats.
Normal blood pressure for you may be different than another persons average blood pressure. You may naturally have blood pressure that averages higher or lower. However, blood pressure that is above or below your normal range can result in negative health problems.
Your blood pressure is considered normal with a reading of 120/80. It is considered low once it falls to 90/60 or lower. High blood pressure is measured at varying levels:
Elevated: 120-129/80 or less
Hypertension stage 2: 140 or higher/90 or higher
Hypertension stage 3: Higher than 180/higher than 120
Is White Coat Hypertension Dangerous
While white coat hypertension may not cause immediate danger, some doctors believe that white coat hypertension might indicate a risk of developing high blood pressure as a long-term condition. It is also dangerous in a way that this temporarily increase in your blood pressure is likely to be misdiagnosed as ongoing hypertension, leading to unnecessary and unwanted overmedication. This is why frequent blood pressure monitoring at home is important as it can easily alert your medical health care provider about the possible presence of white coat syndrome.
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