Anyone at any age can have hypertension.
Forty-five percent of Americans have hypertension, and only half of them have it under control. Heart health is not just an issue for older adults, young people can be impacted, too. According to the CDC, “Nearly 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 44 have high blood pressure.” That is why, no matter your age, you should keep a close watch on your blood pressure and heart health. Now is always the best time to check-in.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the pressure your blood asserts on your artery walls. While this level ranges throughout the day, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the pressure is heightened and causes damage. The heart is the most recognized organ high blood pressure can hurt, but your brain, liver, and eyes can also suffer.
Here is a chart from the CDC covering the different blood pressure levels. Systolic is the pressure level during a beat and diastolic is the pressure level amid beats. Mm Hg stands for millimeters of mercury.
What Are the Signs of High Blood Pressure?
The issue with hypertension is that there are no signs or symptoms. It can only be detected by a medical professional with proper equipment.
Once it has been measured by a member of your care team, you can find out if it is a concern. If hypertension is a problem, your provider will give your recommendations on lowering it.
Getting a Blood Pressure Check
There are devices to check your blood pressure at home, but we recommend you still attend your yearly physical in person. During this meeting, your provider will routinely check your blood pressure. If it is elevated or high, they will help you determine ways to improve it. Depending on your levels or your age, they may recommend purchasing a blood pressure measuring device to use at home or blood pressure medication. Each case is different and a medical professional can help you figure out the right path for you.
Anyone, Any Age Can Have Hypertension
You may think that because you are young you can’t have high blood pressure. This is simply untrue. Anyone at any age can suffer from hypertension. That is why attending your yearly check-in with your provider is so important. During this time, you can find out if hypertension is something you have.
Ways to Improve Your Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure can be greatly improved by simple changes in your lifestyle. Sometimes all it takes is adding 30 minutes of activity and healthier foods into your day. We recommend lessening your salt and alcohol intake, eating more fruits and vegetables, and consuming less caffeine. Stress can also be a big factor to blood pressure levels so mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation can be beneficial. You should also work toward lowering your cholesterol. If too high, it will build up along the walls of your arteries. In some cases, medication may be recommended to address blood pressure and cholesterol. You can discuss all of these options with your care team.
Signs of a Heart Attack
In men, you should keep an eye out for:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Discomfort in lower or upper arms
- Nausea or lightheadedness
In women, you should also watch out for:
- Back or jaw pain
- Nausea or lightheadedness
According to Heart.org, “a heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds.”
If you feel you are having any of these signs of a heart attack, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department right away.