Do you have high blood pressure? If so, you aren’t alone.
Almost half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you may already know how important it is to keep your blood pressure under control. Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can damage blood vessels and cause serious health events.
Although there is no “cure” to high blood pressure, through lifestyle changes and/or medication, you can manage your blood pressure. By keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range, you can reduce your risk of problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and more.
One of the main challenges with high blood pressure is that often people don’t know they have it. That’s why getting your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional is so important. Hypertension is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because most patients with hypertension have no obvious symptoms. Having long-term high blood pressure with no symptoms can cause organ failure, strokes, heart attacks, and other health problems.
Know your blood pressure levels.
To manage high blood pressure effectively, you’ll first need to know your blood pressure level and monitoring it regularly. High blood pressure doesn’t typically have obvious symptoms—so it’s important to get your blood pressure taken to know how you’re doing.
Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure try to keep below 130/80 mm Hg—but each person is different. Your doctor can help you determine a good goal for your blood pressure. Once you know your blood pressure goal, you can check it at home routinely using a portable blood pressure device.
Lifestyle modifications can help.
Lifestyle modifications are important to maintain a healthy blood pressure and allow medicines to be more effective. In addition, these lifestyle adjustments can help reduce your risk of other medical conditions, in addition to lowering high blood pressure:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet, low in sodium
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Manage your stress levels
- Don’t use tobacco
If you are prescribed medicine to help control your blood pressure, be sure to take it regularly as your doctor prescribes. Remember that managing blood pressure is something you must do continually for life. By modifying your lifestyle and taking your medications to reduce your blood pressure, you can lower your risk of health problems.