Taking Action to Protect Yourself from the ‘Silent Killer’
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Jul 22, 2016
Often called the ‘silent killer,’ hypertension – or high blood pressure – is a condition that is rarely accompanied by symptoms. However, while you may not be able to identify high blood pressure with the naked eye, the condition is extremely serious, and is linked to a number of long-term and serious health problems.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries, and high blood pressure simply means that blood is flowing through the arteries at a higher-than-normal pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The narrower your arteries are, and the more blood pumped by your heart, the higher your blood pressure. Diastolic pressure is the measurement of pressure when your heart is at rest, and systolic pressure (which is higher) is a measurement of pressure when your heart is pumping.
Why Is Hypertension a Concern?
According to the Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure can cause damage to the body. In fact, the Mayo Clinic states that left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to “disability, a poor quality of life, or even a fatal heart attack.” These things can happen as a result of damage to the arteries caused by high blood pressure, damage to the heart, damage to the brain, sexual dysfunction, eye problems, and damage to the kidneys. In fact, all of the following may be caused by or contributed to by high blood pressure:
- Coronary artery disease;
- Enlarged left heart;
- Heart failure;
- Mild cognitive impairment;
- Transient ischemic attack;
- Kidney scarring;
- Kidney failure;
- Eye blood vessel damage;
- Bone loss;
- Sleep problems; and
- Other health emergencies.
The Good News: Blood Pressure Can Be Controlled
The good news is that high blood pressure is a condition that is completely preventable and treatable. Eating a healthy diet, controlling stress, and exercising on a regular basis have all been proven methods of ensuring that blood pressure stays at a healthy level. In serious cases, there are also medications that can be used to control blood pressure, although making lifestyle changes first is ideal.
The problem, however, is that because there are rarely symptoms associated with high blood pressure, most people do not know what their blood pressure is. As such, all adults 18 years and older should get regular blood pressure checks, according to Dr. Ivan Porter, and reported by Philly.com. If blood pressure numbers are high, steps should be taken immediately to lower them.
Know Your Numbers
At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we want to make sure that everyone is as healthy as possible. If you do not know your blood pressure, or if it has been more than a year since you last had your blood pressure tested, we encourage you to take the time to visit your doctor.
We also want to remind you that if high blood pressure has not been diagnosed or properly treated you may wish to consult with our skilled New Jersey and Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys. Contact us today by calling our offices or filling out our online form to learn more.