Hypertension – The Hidden Killer

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is considered to be a silent killer because many people who have it don’t experience any symptoms. In fact, people may have hypertension for years without experiencing any symptoms, and this silence can be deadly. Uncontrolled hypertension can increase the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

Some people with very high blood pressure may experience symptoms such as headache or dizziness, or severe effects of hypertension such as fatigue, chest pain and muscle tremors.

Fortunately, hypertension can be easily detected with blood pressure monitoring. You should see your doctor or pharmacist to take your blood pressure reading at least every year if you’re over the age of 40. Even if you’re displaying no symptoms and feel well, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

It’s also important to know your numbers, and understand what they mean. Although your blood pressure will vary from day to day, Health Direct states that a healthy blood pressure is higher than 90/60 mmHg but lower than about 140/90.

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension or other risk factors, your doctor will likely recommend more frequent readings, or at-home readings using a digital blood pressure monitor. They may also recommend treating your hypertension by making lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Regular physical activity.
  • Stopping smoking and limiting alcohol intake.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, while restricting your salt and fat consumption.
  • Losing weight.
  • Reducing and managing stress.

Some people may also require medication to help reduce their blood pressure levels to normal. This can lead to life-long taking of medication for some, while others may find that continuing to make lifestyle changes reduces the need for medicines.

If you have developed hypertension, our Senior Helpers Support Workers can assist. Our in-home care for chronic disease management can help you to maintain your independence in the comfort of your own home with assistance with blood pressure monitoring, meal preparation and medication reminders. Contact us to find out more.

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