“The Silent Killer”: What You Don’t Know About Hypertension Can Hurt You

Hypertension is one of the most common chronic health conditions in older adults. But, many people living with high blood pressure are unaware that they have this serious condition. Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” since there frequently aren’t any obvious symptoms and it can progress to a life-threatening condition.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tens of millions of adults in the US have high blood pressure. When left  untreated, hypertension increases a person’s risk for the two leading causes of death in America: heart disease and stroke.

High Blood Pressure Develops Over Time

All adults and children should have regular monitoring of their pressure, every 1-2 years or more often if they are in a high risk group due to family history, certain medications or other health conditions. Usually, hypertension develops slowly over time, with the longtime pressure inside blood vessels rising and potentially causing damage to the vessel walls.

The most important thing you can do is be proactive with regular health checkups. Your health care provider will monitor your blood pressure and track changes over time. While hypertension used to be fatal for many people. medical advances beginning in the 1950s have enabled patients to manage hypertension well with medication as well as lifestyle changes.

Health Tips for Managing Hypertension

Some hypertension risk factors are related to lifestyle. A few small changes in your daily habits can help to reduce blood pressure and minimize your risk of complications. Recommendations include:

  • Reduce salt intake to less than 5g per day
  • Avoid high levels of saturated fat and trans fat
  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Avoid tobacco use
  • Manage and reduce mental stress
  • Use prescription medications, as directed by your doctor

Partnering with a trusted healthcare provider is an important step in managing your high blood pressure. Since the symptoms of hypertension are mostly silent, you need to be proactive and vigilant to avoid serious complications. Your doctor will make recommendations if changes are needed to protect your health.

At Windward Home Health, our RN Case Managers are skilled in helping manage hypertension and other chronic conditions. If you are looking for a partner to help you proactively manage your health, contact us at www.windwardhomehealth.com.