Oza Family Care and Wellness Center
Family Medicine & General Family Practice located in Houston, TX
While high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, 1 in 5 American adults with the condition don’t even realize they have it. At Oza Family Care and Wellness Center in Houston, Vijay Oza, MD, offers comprehensive medical services to reduce your risk of health conditions like high blood pressure. To schedule a health exam and blood pressure check, call Oza Family Care and Wellness Center or schedule an appointment online today.
High Blood Pressure Q & A
What is high blood pressure?
Your blood pressure is the force your blood exerts on the inside of your arteries as your heart pumps blood throughout your body.
When you have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, your heart and blood vessels work harder and less efficiently than they should have to. This increased force against the inside of your arteries causes tissue damage and leads to plaque buildup.
As damage inside your blood vessels increases and plaque accumulates, your arteries grow more narrow. This makes your heart work even harder to pump oxygen-rich blood to other parts of your body.
High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer” because it usually doesn’t present symptoms until it’s already causing serious damage.
What are the risks of having high blood pressure?
Unmanaged high blood pressure can cause severe damage to your blood vessels and other organs in your body. Common complications of high blood pressure include:
- Arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat
- Cognitive issues
- Vision loss
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
Having high blood pressure can also narrow or weaken the blood vessels in your kidneys.
What causes high blood pressure?
There are two different types of high blood pressure, primary hypertension, and secondary hypertension. Primary, or essential, hypertension usually develops slowly over years. Secondary hypertension occurs suddenly because of another health condition.
Common causes of primary hypertension include:
- A family history of the condition
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Consuming a high-sodium diet that’s low in potassium and vitamin D
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but it’s more common in men and women over 65. African-Americans also have higher rates of high blood pressure, with the condition often developing at a younger age.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed and managed?
Dr. Oza diagnoses high blood pressure by measuring your systolic and diastolic pressures with an inflatable blood pressure cuff. Systolic pressure captures how hard your heart is pumping, while diastolic pressure measures your heart while it rests between beats.
Based on your blood pressure, medical history, and physical examination, Dr. Oza might also recommend on-site blood tests to measure your cholesterol and look for additional signs of heart disease.
To manage elevated or high blood pressure, Dr. Oza works closely with you to design a comprehensive course of treatment. This generally includes medications, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, and routine blood pressure checks.
If you know you have high blood pressure or suspect you might, call Oza Family Care and Wellness Center or schedule an appointment online today.