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There are generally no quick fixes for high blood pressure. It is a chronic disease that requires management over many years to prevent the complications of coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and heart failure. But by following a heart healthy lifestyle, working closely with your health care team, and taking your medications every day as prescribed, high blood pressure can be well managed and your risk of complications can be significantly reduced.
/6can Vaccines Impact Your Blood Pressure Readings
To date, hypertension or an apparent change in blood pressure readings is not a mentioned side-effect of any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Rising blood pressure levels haven’t also been mentioned as an explicit adverse reaction in either of the safety or clinical trials conducted so far.
However, emerging data present hypertension to be a strange side-effect many may experience after getting a jab of the vaccine.
People who underwent hypertension also recorded symptoms like a headache, chest pain, anxiety and sweating, all associated with a rise in blood pressure levels.
While it is being considered as a ‘rare’ side-effect, experts suggest that hypertension may not be a symptomatic side-effect in itself, but one which may be resulting from stress associated with vaccination.
Another reason fueling the apparent rise in blood pressure levels has also been linked to the ‘white-coat effect, which causes blood pressure readings to be relatively high in diagnostic settings, in comparison to other places.
While inconclusive, risk factors for hypertension may also be determined by one’s apparent risk for cardiac complications, age and other preconditions which may go unnoticed.
Seasonal Allergies And Hay Fever
Seasonal allergies can even become the primary cause of sinus inflammation. Allergies can cause blockage of drainage containing the regular sinus aspect and also predispose any person to the development of sinus infections.
Any person can experience sinus irritation or congestion during the hay fever season. The pollen count can jump even high during the season, and the exposure to allergens is even high, like the mould or animal dander.
It is necessary to see the doctor for treatments to alleviate symptoms.
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How Do You Make Lifestyle Changes
Making any kind of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on a path. The path leads to success. Here are the first steps on that path:
What If Just The First Blood Pressure Number Is High
For older people, often the first number is 130 or higher, but the second number is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, which is due to age-related stiffening of the major arteries. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems in addition to shortness of breath during light physical activity, lightheadedness upon standing too fast, and falls. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure is above a normal level for your age, ask how you can lower it.
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What Causes High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into blood vessels, which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to heart failure.
How To Take Your Own Blood Pressure Effectively
When taking your own blood pressure, its important to take it the right way to get accurate results. When and how you take your own BP can affect your results. Blood-pressure monitoring tips include:
- Take it easy before taking your BP. Rest for at least five minutes before your first measurement. Dont smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise for 30 minutes before taking your BP. Dont talk while taking your BP.
- Take your BP with an empty bladder.
- Sit correctly. Sit with your back straight and well-supported make sure not to cross your legs and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Position your arm correctly. Keep your upper arm at heart level. The way to do this will be a little different depending on whether youre using a wrist or upper-arm monitor, so follow the instructions for your device. Dont place blood pressure cuffs over your sleeves
- Measure at the same time every day. Many doctors will recommend taking your BP in the morning and evening. Dont take your BP right after you wake up.
- Take more than one reading and track your results. Take two or three readings about one minute apart. Some OMRON devices do this automatically and then give you an average of your readings. Take your monitor with you to doctor appointments. Some monitors called, wireless or connected, will allow you to store, track and share your results with your doctor from your mobile device.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure is diagnosed with a blood pressure monitor. This is a common test for all doctor visits. A nurse will place a band around your arm. The band is attached to a small pump and a meter. He or she will squeeze the pump. It will feel tight around your arm. Then he or she will stop and watch the meter. This provides the nurse with 2 numbers that make up your blood pressure. The top number is your systolic reading . The bottom number is your diastolic reading . You may also hear the doctor or nurse say a blood pressure is 120 over 80.
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120 on top and less than 80 on the bottom.
- Prehypertension levels are 120-139 on top and 80-89 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 1 is 140-159 on top and 90-99 on the bottom.
- High blood pressure, stage 2 is 160 or higher on top and 100 and over on the bottom.
The higher your blood pressure is, the more often you need to have it checked. After age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. Do it more often if you have had high blood pressure in the past.
Why You Should Take Your Own Blood Pressure At Home Or On The Go
Because of regular fluctuations in blood pressure, white-coat syndrome, and masked hypertension, doctors may recommend self-monitoring for people with HBP. There are many benefits to taking your own BP:
- Knowing your actual, average blood pressure outside of regular fluctuations
- Gaining more control over your blood pressure
- Tracking your progress
- Saving time and possibly money from frequent doctor visits and complications
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How Do Doctors Diagnose High Blood Pressure
Because symptoms are so uncommon, the only way to know you have HBP is to have your blood pressure tested at your doctors office. Your doctor will use a device called a sphygmomanometer, which features an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff is attached to a scale, and when it inflates, it measures your systolic BP. It measures your diastolic BP as the cuff slowly deflates. Your doctor will also likely press a stethoscope to listen for any abnormal sounds as your blood flows.
You officially have HBPyour doctor may call it hypertensionwhen your readings are above normal during at least two visits to the doctor. However, many doctors will ask you to measure your own blood pressure using either a home monitor or with a 24-hour monitoring device your doctor lends you. Doing this will help confirm that your blood pressure remains high during the normal course of your day.
Why is this important? Many people have whats called white-coat hypertension, which means that your blood pressure spikes in your doctors office but returns to normal elsewhere. For example, your reading may be high when you have a physical and normal when you use the device at your pharmacist or grocery store .
Lets look at the numbers. The American Heart Association provides the measurements that you should aim for, as well as the ranges that put you in the danger zone. All measurements are mm Hg.
What Are The Possible Side Effects
Medicines affect everyone differently. Not everyone will have the same side effects from a certain medicine.
Antihypertensive medicines might make you feel dizzy when you stand up. They also might lower the levels of potassium in your blood. You may have trouble sleeping or feel tired during the day. You might have a cough, dry mouth, and headaches. You may feel bloated, constipated, or depressed. Some antihypertensive medicines can cause men to have erection problems.
Talk with your doctor about any side effects you notice. If one medicine does not work for you or if it causes side effects, you can try another medicine. Let your doctor help you find the right medicine for you.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
A blood pressure reading is written like this: 120/80. It’s read as “120 over 80.” The top number is called the systolic, and bottom number is called the diastolic. The ranges are:
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80
- Elevated: 120-129/less than 80
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 130-139/80-89
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 140 and above/90 and above
- Hypertension crisis: higher than 180/higher than 120 — See a doctor right away
If your blood pressure is above the normal range, talk to your doctor about how to lower it.
For Low Blood Pressure
A lower than normal blood pressure reading, without other symptoms, may not be a cause for concern.
However, if you have low blood pressure readings along with other symptoms, its important to get medical care.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness
Also remember that you can get water from some food sources, particularly fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, follow the tips below to help yourself stay hydrated:
- Always drink when you feel thirsty. Feeling thirsty is your bodys way of telling you that you need more fluids.
- Remember to drink more water when youre being physically active, in a hot climate, or ill with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Carry a water bottle with you as you go about your daily activities. That way youll always have water on hand.
- Choose water instead of sugary sodas, energy drinks, sweetened beverages, or alcoholic drinks.
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Does Pain Affect Systolic Or Diastolic Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the leading heart problems in the world. One of the major problems with hypertension is many people dont know they have hypertension. Up to 1/3 of patients with hypertension are unaware of their condition, and the only way that they could know is through having regular checkups. Symptoms of high blood pressure vary per person, and many people are asymptomatic until they develop secondary symptoms or complications. The general symptoms of hypertension may include the following:
- Developing severe headaches
- Developing sudden and lingering chest pains
- Some patients also report difficulty in breathing
- Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
- Blood-tinged urine
- A feeling of pounding around the head and neck area, including the ears, nape, and near/around the chest
Having high blood pressure is not good no matter the age, and it would be best to consult with your physician as soon as possible if you believe you have hypertension. Family medical history is an easy resource to determine your risk of developing hypertension. Having a non-ideal lifestyle can also trigger it. How long will a person have it? If the genetic risk for it is high, you will probably have to deal with bouts of high blood pressure for the rest of your life. Regulating it with lifestyle changes and the proper medication will help reduce the strain on your heart.
Systolic versus diastolic: which matters most?
What Are The Medications For Hypertension
If you are in stage 2, or in stage 1 with an elevated risk of heart disease, youll need to make the above lifestyle modifications and probably get started on at least one blood pressure-lowering medication.
If your blood pressure is very high, you will need whats called combination therapy, or medications from two different classes of drugs. Your doctor has many options to choose from. The choice will depend on the severity of your HBP as well as underlying health conditions you may have, like diabetes and heart disease. In all likelihood, your doctor will try you on more than one medication or dosage before determining what works best for you.
Short for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, this class of drug prevents your body from producing the blood vessel-narrowing and blood pressure-boosting hormone angiotensin II. These meds are often prescribed to people with diabetes because it also has kidney benefits.
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers
ARBs for short, they also prevent angiotensin II from narrowing your blood vessels, easing the strain on your heart.
These drugs slow your heart rate so that it does not have to work as hard. This lowers your blood pressure.
Calcium Channel Blockers
These help your blood vessels to relax, allowing blood to flow more easily. They also lower BP by slowing your heart rate, give your heart a chance to rest.
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Heart Attack And Heart Disease
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.
Exercise For People At Risk For Or With High Blood Pressure
Its safe to exercise if youre at risk for high blood pressure or with high blood pressure . In fact, regular exercise can help you keep your blood pressure in check.
If youre at risk for or have hypertension, speak to your doctor about the safest way to exercise. This may involve:
- choosing moderate activities
- working up to daily exercise
If youre concerned about your blood pressure, you can monitor it before, during, and after your workout.
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What Causes Hypertension
The causes depend on the type of hypertension: primary and secondary. Sometimes the blood pressure may suddenly increase, with or without any history of hypertension. These sudden spikes typically last for a short time and are called sudden high blood pressure or hypertensive urgency. The blood pressure may often return to normal after a while.
Primary or essential hypertension
In most adults, there is no identifiable cause for hypertension. Primary or essential hypertension is not caused by a disease or health condition.
Primary hypertension can result due to multiple factors:
- Physical changes in the body due to age
- Salt sensitivity
In some people, hypertension is caused by an underlying health condition. This is called secondary hypertension and tends to appear suddenly. Secondary hypertension causes higher blood pressure than primary hypertension.
Secondary hypertension is caused by specific conditions and their complications, such as
- Kidney disease
Get To A Healthy Weight
If youre overweight or obese, which is a risk factor for hypertension, getting to a healthier weight can also make a noticeable difference in your next blood pressure measurement.
Even modest weight loss can result in substantial blood pressure improvement, Rivara explains. In round numbers, you can reduce your blood pressure by up to one point for every one kilogram around two to three pounds of weight lost.
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