Hypertension is one of the most common medical conditions people all over the world are victim of. Also known as elevated blood pressure, it is a serious illness that greatly increases the risks of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. More than a billion people all over the world suffer from hypertension most of which reside in the low and middle income countries. If not treated in time, hypertension can worsen.
The main problem about this medical condition is that there are no signs and symptoms. Which is why, it is often neglected and people only realise it when matters get worse. But, for those who undergo a regular health check-up can be diagnosed and treated early on.
Hypertension being the major cause of pre-mature death in the world, needs to be addressed and is being addressed on a large scale.
The goal is now on ensuring to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by 25% by 2025. Efforts are being made to bring about awareness among the general public.
What is the primary treatment of hypertension?
- The first thing the doctor will recommend is making some essential lifestyle changes. These would include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Losing weight in case of those who are obese
- Controlling the intake of alcohol
Even if these small changes are made on a daily basis, it can go a long way in restoring one’s health. Blood pressure levels will automatically come to the healthy levels.
- With lifestyle changes, depending on the blood pressure reading, your doctor will prescribe medications to stabilize the blood pressure levels. Depending on your age and other factors, the doctor will prescribe a combination of medications that will help bring hypertension under control.
Here are some of the medicines that are often prescribed:
- Diuretics: These medicines help remove sodium and water from the body. While managing blood pressure, the intake of sodium needs to be kept in mind. Therefore, by prescribing diuretics, this will take care of the problem.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These help relax blood vessels by obstructing the formation of a natural chemical that constricts blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These prescribed drugs help relax blood vessels by blocking the action of a natural chemical that narrows blood vessels.
- Calcium channel blockers: These help relax the muscles of the blood vessels. Some even slow down the heart rate. Calcium channel blockers is said to work better for older people.
Apart from the above mentioned medications, alpha blockers, alpha-beta blockers, beta blockers, aldosterone antagonists, renin inhibitors, vasodilators and central-acting agents are also prescribed.
This totally depends on the blood pressure readings of the patient.
Based on adults, what is the diagnosis of high blood pressure?
There are many ways to diagnose hypertension. It can be done in the clinic at the doctor’s place or at home as well.
It is recommended that all adults over the age of 18 years be screened for high blood pressure with an office blood pressure measurement.
A doctor will use a blood pressure cuff known as a sphygmomanometer which gives accurate results of the blood pressure levels.
What does the device do and how does it function?
- This device comes with a gauge and a rubber cuff which is placed around the arm and is then inflated.
- The test is painless and gets completed in a few minutes.
Based on the reading on the sphygmomanometer, your doctor will be able to classify if you fall under the following readings:
- Normal BP: Systolic < than 120 mm Hg; diastolic < than 80
- Elevated BP: Systolic is between 120 and 129 mm Hg; diastolic < than 80
- Stage 1 High Blood Pressure: Systolic is 130–139 mm Hg or your diastolic is between 80-89
- Stage 2 High Blood Pressure: 140 or > systolic, or 90 or > diastolic
If need be, your doctor will ask you to undergo certain other tests to check the causes and see if there are any other complications like organ damage.
Based on the findings of the tests a proper treatment plan will be laid out post which the blood pressure levels will begin to come under control. Make sure to complete the entire course of treatment until your blood pressure levels is normal again.
What is the best hypertension medication for asthmatics?
Depending on any pre-existing conditions, your doctor will need to plan the treatment course to ensure that your health does not worsen. In case of asthmatics, the doctor will prescribe an antihypertensive that will provide good control over hypertension without interfering with the medication for asthma. ACE inhibitors are likely to cause respiratory problems, and hence those will not be prescribed.
Even diuretics which are generally safe for people with asthma may exacerbate the side effects of some medications that are used for asthma.
When it comes to dealing with hypertension, acting early is the best way to avoid future complications. It may come as a surprise in most cases as there are no symptoms for hypertension, yet, conducting a regular medical check-up will only help you lead a long and healthy life.
Managing a well-balanced diet, exercising and keeping stress at bay are all vital factors to avert the dangers of hypertension. Though, in this age and day it may seem really possible to, efforts must be made.
In some cases, hypertension is a cause due to family history. Keeping yourself healthy will only ensure your future generation will be free from hypertension to some extent.
The symptoms of hypertension are common to other medical conditions. But, at any point if there is unrest experienced or repetitive occurrence of these symptoms, do visit your medical professional. It will help take care of the problem early on.
Delaying the visit to the doctor will lead to complications and damage of other organs of the body. Tackle it while the symptoms are manageable and lead a healthy life for yourself and those who care about you.
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