According to the CDC, about one in three American men have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, only about half of these men are receiving effective treatment to help monitor and control the condition. So while the condition is incredibly common, it’s less common to be doing something about it. Ignoring the condition, which is also sometimes known as hypertension, can lead to worsening medical conditions that could even become fatal. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, if it runs in your family, or even if you haven’t been diagnosed but many of the symptoms seem to apply to you, then you need to learn more about the condition and how it can be treated. If you currently aren’t receiving treatment for the condition, you should make an appointment with our Tuscon men’s health services right away.
FAQ About High Blood Pressure
What Is High Blood Pressure?
As your heart pumps blood through your body, it places pressure on the walls of your arteries and blood vessels. Your blood pressure is a measurement of the amount of pressure that’s being placed on your blood vessels and arteries. A blood pressure that’s considered to be within the normal range should be right around 120/80. High blood pressure is considered to be anything that’s 140/90 or higher. To be diagnosed with high blood pressure, you’d need to be at a high blood pressure reading for a number of weeks.
Is High Blood Pressure Really That Dangerous?
It might seem like a minor health concern, but the truth is high blood pressure can be very dangerous to your health. That’s primarily because it puts you at greater risk of developing or experiencing other, even more, serious health concerns. This include stroke and heart attacks, which are two of the most common reasons for death in the United States.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Lifestyle is one of the biggest contributing factors to high blood pressure. These lifestyle factors include:
- Unhealthy eating choices
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Being overweight
Interestingly, sleep apnea has also been tied to an increased risk of high blood pressure. If you snore loudly, wake up gasping in the middle of the night, or wake up still feeling tired, you should be checked by a professional to determine whether or not you are suffering from sleep apnea. A sleep study will provide you with answers and there are a number of treatments that can help you correct the condition.
Even if none of these lifestyle factors apply to you, you can still develop high blood pressure. Many people who are otherwise very healthy and active are still diagnosed with the condition, much to their surprise. Unfortunately, even if you are doing everything else correctly (exercising, eating right, avoiding alcohol), your genetics can get you. Even then, some people with no history of high blood pressure in their family can still develop the condition.
What Are the Symptoms?
Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. This isn’t something you will feel or will even likely be aware of; it can only be measured by a blood pressure cuff. This is why many people who have high blood pressure can end up going without a diagnosis for years, putting them at risk for other potentially fatal health conditions to develop. It’s one of the reasons that it is so important to go in for an annual health exam. Your doctor can look for issues like high blood pressure that you might not otherwise know you have.
How Does it Affect Everyday Life?
High blood pressure can affect your everyday life in a lot of ways. However, there are a lot of myths about how it can affect you, too. Many people believe that it’s not safe to fly in an airplane when they have high blood pressure; that’s not actually the case. You can keep your travel plans. They also worry about having sex or becoming overly stressed. While both of these can cause temporary spikes in your blood pressure, they shouldn’t create a lasting problem.
There are ways that your high blood pressure diagnosis can affect you, though. For instance, you’ll need to be more careful about the type of decongestants that you take when you have a cold. That’s because common over-the-counter decongestants can raise your blood pressure, especially if they are taken in high doses or for long periods of time.
It can also affect you during cold weather, though this is less of an issue for residents in Tucson. However, in other areas of the country, the cold weather could actually increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, which you are at a higher risk of having when you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. That’s because when your body is cold, your blood vessels constrict and it takes more effort to pump blood through your body. This shouldn’t cause you to avoid cold climates, though, as the changes are relatively minimal. If you have high blood pressure, just make sure you bundle up warm when visiting cold climates and limit the amount of time you are outdoors.
What Are the Treatment Options?
The good news is there are a number of treatment options available for high blood pressure. These include:
- Changes to your lifestyle. Some people can bring their blood pressure down by making some changes to their lifestyle. This might including stopping smoking, losing weight, reducing the amount of salt in their food, and increasing how much exercise they get. Sleep apnea has also been tied to high blood pressure; if you snore, it’s worth being checked for the condition as it could also be a contributing factor to your high blood pressure.
- Medication. If lifestyle changes aren’t working to control your blood pressure, then medication can be a very effective option. There are a number of medications available on the market that can help you control and lower your blood pressure. Your doctor can work with you to find one that’s right for you. Just like with all medications, there is a risk of side effects. These can include headaches, fatigue, lightheadedness, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. Most doctors will encourage you to make lifestyle changes first in an attempt to control your blood pressure without medication.
Getting the right treatment for high blood pressure is important; it’s also important to start that treatment as soon as possible. If you or a loved one are suffering from high blood pressure, make an appointment with our men’s health services in Tucson today. Our team offers comprehensive treatment for hypertension as well as many other common health concerns for men. You can contact us by phone or make an appointment through our website now.