Some 75 million adults in the United States have hypertension, or high blood pressure, a serious disease that drastically increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. As someone who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic hypertension, board-certified internist Steven L. Saunders, MD, MBA, FACP, can help you keep the condition under control. To learn more, call Steven L. Saunders, MD, LLC, in Milford, Connecticut, or schedule an appointment online today.
Hypertension is a common circulatory disorder that occurs when your blood flow consistently exerts more force, or pressure, against the walls of your arteries than normal.
Also known as high blood pressure, the condition affects approximately one in three adults in the United States. What’s more, another one in three adults — or half of those who don’t yet have high blood pressure — do have elevated blood pressure or pre-hypertension.
Your blood pressure reading measures two things: Systolic pressure — the pressure your blood exerts on your arteries when your heart beats — and diastolic pressure — the pressure your blood exerts on your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
A normal blood pressure reading is 119/79 or lower while having consistent readings of 140/90 or higher indicates hypertension.
High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because it’s possible to live with the disease for years without experiencing any noticeable symptoms. This is why blood pressure checks are a routine part of every visit at Steven L. Saunders, MD, LLC.
If your blood pressure levels are dangerously high, however, you may experience:
Uncontrolled, dangerously high blood pressure can also lead to eye damage, aneurysms, and heart failure, among other complications.
Several factors can increase your chances of developing hypertension, including:
Being overweight or obese requires your blood vessels to handle an increased blood volume to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, putting more pressure on arterial walls.
Advancing age boosts your risk of developing hypertension.
Having close family members with hypertension means you’re more likely to develop it, as the condition tends to run in families.
Lifestyle factors that can play a role in the development of hypertension include eating a high-sodium diet, not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and living with chronic stress.
An estimated half of all people with hypertension have taken steps to keep their condition under control, but seeking proper treatment at Steven L. Saunders, MD, LLC, is the best way to reduce your risk of complications and protect your long-term health.
Primary hypertension, the most common form of the disease, usually develops with age. This form of the disease often responds well to specific lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet, staying physically active, losing excess body weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, and managing stress levels.
If lifestyle changes don’t reduce your blood pressure quickly enough, Dr. Saunders may recommend medication to help lower your levels more effectively.
To learn how you can keep your blood pressure in check, avoid hypertension or manage the condition effectively, call Steven L. Saunders, MD, LLC, or schedule an appointment online today.