Hypertension, or consistently elevated blood pressure, is sometimes known as the silent killer because this common condition often doesn’t show any symptoms until it’s very advanced. At that point, complications like a stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure are difficult to prevent.
Most cases of primary hypertension don’t have a known cause. However, in cases of secondary hypertension, there are common risk factors that can often be reduced through medical treatment and lifestyle changes.
Dr. Enrico Ascher can help you protect your cardiovascular health from high blood pressure and hypertension. Dr. Ascher sees new and existing patients from his office at the Vascular Institute of New York, located in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City.
The dangers of high blood pressure
You’re considered to have high blood pressure when your blood pressure readings consistently come back above the normal level. Your readings should stay below 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). A patient with high blood pressure might have readings of 140/90 mm Hg or above regularly.
While you won’t experience any symptoms directly due to hypertension, consistently high blood pressure can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system, leaving you dealing with serious problems in your heart or arteries. In advanced cases of hypertension, you could suffer from headaches, an irregular or rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, or distorted sight and hearing.
Risk factors for secondary hypertension
Primary hypertension can occur due to underlying risk factors including your age, family history, dietary and exercise habits, and ethnicity.
Secondary hypertension, accounting for about 10% of all cases of hypertension, occurs when your high blood pressure problems are caused by a different medical condition, or a medication you’re taking to manage other medical issues.
Some of the most common risk factors for secondary hypertension include:
- Use of oral contraceptives or corticosteroids
- Problems with your adrenal or thyroid glands
- Hormonal disorders or pregnancy
- A congenital defect of the aorta in your heart called coarctation
- Kidney disease, or insufficient blood flow to the kidneys due to arterial blockage
- Alcohol abuse
- Sleep apnea
Treating your hypertension
If you’ve been diagnosed with secondary hypertension, Dr. Ascher can work with you to put together a treatment plan. By resolving the underlying condition, you can typically normalize your blood pressure, as well.
You might need to lose weight, or reduce the amount of sodium in your diet, or the amount of alcohol you consume. You may need to switch to a different birth control option, or stop taking other medications. Dr. Ascher might also recommend that you stop smoking, and start getting regular exercise.
To get started addressing your secondary hypertension, make an appointment with Dr. Ascher at the Vascular Institute of New York now. Request your appointment at our New York City, New York office online today, or call 718-438-3800 to book.