Problems That Can Occur If You Don't Manage Your Hypertension

Jun 07, 2023
Problems That Can Occur If You Don't Manage Your Hypertension
Chronic high blood pressure, or hypertension, doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms. But this condition is far from harmless. Keep reading to learn about the problems that develop if your hypertension isn’t well managed.

Did you know that nearly half of all American adults (47%) have high blood pressure, or hypertension? This condition can mean serious trouble for your health if you don’t manage it. In fact, hypertension is so serious, doctors refer to it as “the silent killer.”

The good news is that with the help of the experienced medical providers at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, you can manage your hypertension and reclaim your health. 

At our locations in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, our team offers hypertension screenings and personalized treatment recommendations depending on your unique needs. 

We don’t believe in limiting access to health care, so if transportation is a problem, ask about our van services, which can transport you from your home to our center. And while we accept almost all forms of health insurance, we also provide a sliding fee schedule for those who qualify.

In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about hypertension and the problems that can occur if you don’t manage this condition. 

What does “hypertension” mean?

Your arteries move blood all over your body from your heat. Blood pressure (BP) refers to the measurement of the pressure on the walls of your arteries by your blood. 

Your provider looks at two measurements in your BP reading to interpret your blood pressure results:

  • Systolic pressure: The top number in the reading measures the amount force your blood exerts on your arteries during your heartbeats 
  • Diastolic pressure: The bottom number in the reading measures the amount of force your blood exerts on your arteries between heartbeats

When your systolic number is persistently at 130 or above and your diastolic number is 80 or higher, you’re diagnosed with hypertension, or chronically high blood pressure. 

For most people, this condition develops slowly over time, instead of all at once. And since there are no overt symptoms, it’s important to have routine BP screenings. 

Why do I have hypertension?

Many factors increase your risk of developing hypertension. For example, getting older can mean higher blood pressure. Other common factors linked to high blood pressure include:  

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Unhealthy habits and behaviors (i.e., poor diet; sedentary lifestyle)
  • Uncontrolled stress levels
  • Genetics/family history
  • Taking certain medications
  • Underlying health conditions (i.e., sleep apnea, diabetes

In some cases, people develop hypertension for no identifiable reason. 

What problems develop with untreated hypertension?

Untreated hypertension is a real problem. This silent killer damages your heart, arteries, and blood vessels for years — and you might not know until you have a stroke or develop another serious condition. 

No matter why hypertension develops, if you have this condition, your risk of developing these and many other serious health conditions or medical complications increases. Serious health problems associated with hypertension include:

  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Vision problems
  • Dementia
  • Kidney disease

The only way to know if you have hypertension is by having regular blood pressure checks. Be sure to have your blood pressure evaluated by a medical professional at least once a year, during your annual physical.

Physical exams are the perfect starting point. These regular checks mean your provider can keep an eye on your BP numbers and talk to you about preventive action at the first sign of hypertension, preventing further damage. 

How can I manage my hypertension?

At Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, our providers understand that most people don’t develop chronic high blood pressure in isolation. Your overall health and lifestyle choices play a role.

That’s why our team most often uses an integrated and personalized approach to managing hypertension based on your personal medical history, current health status, lifestyle factors and preferences, and other factors. 

Your plan may include the use of blood pressure medications. These medicines help lower the stress placed on your cardiovascular system by chronically elevated blood pressure. 

Because changes that affect your blood pressure also improve your overall heart health, hypertension management also usually includes other therapies, such as:

  • Changing to a heart-healthy diet 
  • Minimizing high-sodium foods
  • Increasing physical activity and exercising regularly
  • Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Quitting smoking and/or tobacco use
  • Avoiding or significantly reducing alcohol use
  • Learning healthy coping mechanisms for stress 

Get personalized help for your hypertension today by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania. We’re here to help!