Hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Your blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood pumped by your heart and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. If your heart is pumping more blood and your arteries are narrower, it increases your blood pressure.
What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common condition caused when the force of the blood against artery walls remains high enough to cause health problems like heart disease eventually. It’s possible to have hypertension for years without any symptoms, but it will continue to damage your blood vessels and your heart. Uncontrolled hypertension increases the risks of heart attacks and stroke. It’s a condition that can gradually develop over many years and which will affect many people eventually.
Often there is no identifiable cause for hypertension, but sometimes it can be due to an underlying medical condition called secondary hypertension. Secondary hypertension tends to appear more suddenly and can be more severe.
Conditions that may lead to secondary hypertension include obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid and kidney problems, and adrenal gland tumors. Some people have congenital defects in blood vessels. If you experience any of the conditions above please call NYC internist doctors or your local primary care physicians.
Secondary hypertension may also be caused by certain over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Pulmonary hypertension affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart. It is a condition that can make it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, increasing the pressure in the arteries in your lungs. As the pressure increases, your heart’s lower right chamber, the right ventricle, must work harder to pump the blood effectively through your lungs. The increased strain can cause the heart muscle to weaken significantly.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
Fortunately, it is easy for any local internist or best doctors in New York of Manhattan Primary Care Center to detect high blood pressure levels. Once you know you have hypertension, we can work with you and provide you with the most suitable hypertension treatment. Usually, your blood pressure is measured during routine medical examinations.
Most people will receive a blood pressure reading regularly starting from age 18. People already diagnosed with high blood pressure or who have other risk factors for heart disease may need more frequent readings.
A blood pressure reading will provide your Midtown primary care doctor with two numbers:
- The higher number measures the pressure in your arteries as your heart beats and is called systolic pressure.
- The lower or second number measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats and is called diastolic pressure.
Both readings are important, but after age 50, the systolic number is even more significant. We may wish to take your blood pressure several times at separate appointments because your blood pressure varies naturally throughout the day.
We may want to conduct a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring test, measuring your blood pressure at regular intervals over 24 hours. Other tests may be suggested and include a urine test, blood and cholesterol test, and an electrocardiogram that measures your heart’s electrical activity.
Although it is easy to use blood pressure screenings in some stores and measure your blood pressure for free, these machines can have some limitations. While they can provide some useful information, the accuracy of readings depends on using the machine correctly and selecting the correct cuff size.
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High Blood Pressure Treatment in Midtown NYC and New York’s Upper East Side
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, we might suggest modifying your lifestyle as even small changes can help considerably with hypertension treatment. It’s important to make sure you eat a heart-healthy diet and to reduce your salt intake if needed.
Get plenty of regular physical exercise, and maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, it can be useful to lose weight. Also, limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Although modifying your lifestyle can help, it may not be sufficient, and we could suggest using medication to lower your blood pressure. The medication suggested depends on your treatment goal and your current health, and we will provide an individualized treatment plan. A range of medications are useful for high blood pressure treatment, and the most frequently prescribed are listed below.
- Diuretics: Diuretics help your kidneys to eliminate sodium and water, which reduces blood volume. Increased urination is a common side-effect.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These work by relaxing the blood vessels and preventing the formation of a chemical that narrows blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): These also relax the blood vessels but don’t prevent the formation of the chemical that narrows blood vessels but merely block it.
- Calcium channel blockers: These are designed to help relax your blood vessel muscles and be more effective than ACE inhibitors alone.
Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment
Pulmonary hypertension is often harder to diagnose because it isn’t always detected in a routine physical exam. Although it isn’t curable, this condition is manageable, but it can take some time to find the most appropriate pulmonary hypertension treatment.
Treatment for pulmonary hypertension is often complex, and if another condition is causing it, doctors will address the underlying cause whenever possible.
Lifestyle changes may be useful in managing pulmonary hypertension, and we can discuss appropriate changes to consider.
Hypertensive Emergency Treatment
When high blood pressure becomes dangerously high, it can cause organ damage. Blood pressure must be reduced immediately to prevent this damage, and treatment is provided in intensive care.
The organ damage associated with a hypertensive emergency can include heart failure or heart attack, aneurysm, stroke, chest pain caused by unstable angina, and fluid in the lungs or pulmonary edema.
Symptoms of hypertensive emergency include seizures, worsening chest pain, feeling increasingly short of breath, becoming confused, having a severe headache, or blurred vision. Thankfully hypertensive emergencies are rare but may occur if someone fails to take their blood pressure medication or has taken an over-the-counter medication that has increased their blood pressure.
Hypertension Treatment Plan
When deciding how to treat high blood pressure, we may choose to prescribe a combination of low-dose medications rather than a larger dose of a single drug. Frequently, it is more effective to use two or more blood pressure drugs than just one in high blood pressure treatment. However, each case is different, and only your doctor can put you on an effective treatment regimen.
Please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side with hypertension treatment specialists. Our doctors look forward to meeting you!
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