High Blood Pressure is a major health problem that is common in older adults. Your body’s network of blood vessels changes with age. High blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer which often does not cause any signs of illness that you can see or feel. Even though it affects nearly half of all adults, lots of people may not even be aware that they have it.
If high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medication, it can lead to serious health problems including:
The good news is that blood pressure can be controlled in most people.
There are two types of high blood pressure:
High blood pressure has various risk factors:
Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
A few people with this condition may have shortness of breath, headaches, or nosebleeds, but these signs and symptoms are not specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.
Your physician will ask questions about your medical history and do a physical analysis. The doctor or other medical assistant will place an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge. Your blood pressure usually must be measured in both arms to define if there is a difference. It is important to use an appropriate-sized arm cuff.
Blood pressure normally varies during the day and might increase during a doctor’s. Your doctor will likely take several blood pressure readings at three or more separate appointments before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.
Changing your lifestyle can help control and manage high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make lifestyle changes including:
However, sometimes lifestyle changes are not enough. If diet and exercise don’t help, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.
1. Calcium channel blockers
2. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
3. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors