Understanding Hypertension: The Silent Threat to Your Health

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects nearly half of adults worldwide. Shockingly, many don’t even know they have it. But what exactly is hypertension, and why is it so important to keep it in check? 

What is Hypertension?

Simply put, hypertension occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels becomes too high. A normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension is diagnosed when your blood pressure consistently measures 140/90 mmHg or higher. 

Lack of Symptoms

Hypertension often doesn’t show any symptoms. This means you could have high blood pressure and not even know it. The only way to detect hypertension is to get your blood pressure checked regularly by a healthcare professional. 

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase your risk of developing hypertension, including: 

  • Older age 
  • Genetics 
  • Being overweight or obese 
  • Lack of physical activity 
  • High-salt diet 
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 

Recognizing Severe Hypertension

While many people with hypertension don’t experience any symptoms, very high blood pressure levels (usually 180/120 or higher) can lead to noticeable signs, such as: 

  • Severe headaches 
  • Chest pain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Anxiety and confusion 
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Irregular heartbeat 

The Dangers of Untreated Hypertension

Untreated hypertension can have serious consequences, including: 

  • Chest pain (angina) 
  • Heart attack 
  • Heart failure 
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) 
  • Stroke 
  • Kidney damage/failure 

Take Control of Your Health

With hypertension being a silent threat, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to monitor and manage your blood pressure. Regular check-ups, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and following a balanced diet low in salt and alcohol are essential for keeping hypertension under control. 

Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to your health. Don’t wait until it’s too late; come to Henry J Austin Health Center to get your blood pressure checked regularly and take control of your heart health! Call 609-278-5900 or visit henryjaustin.org/services. 

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