2 High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
3 You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.Although a few people with early-stage high blood pressure may have unclear headaches, dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than normal, these signs and symptoms typically don't occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe — even life-threatening — stage.
5 Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to: Heart attack or stroke.Aneurysm.Heart failure.Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes.Metabolic syndrome.Trouble with memory or understanding.Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factors that come together in a single individual. These metabolic factors include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting.An aneurysm (AN-u-rism) is a balloon-like bulge in an artery
6 Blood pressure treatment goals Your blood pressure treatment goal depends on how healthy you are.Blood pressure treatment goals140/90 mm Hg or lower If you are a healthy adult130/80 mm Hg or lower If you have chronic kidney disease, diabetes or coronary artery disease or are at high risk of coronary artery disease120/80 mm Hg or lower If your heart isn't pumping as well as it should (left ventricular dysfunction or heart failure) or you have severe chronic kidney disease
7 Changing your lifestyle can go a long way toward controlling high blood pressure. But sometimes lifestyle changes aren't enough. In addition to diet and exercise, your doctor may recommend medication to lower your blood pressure.Which category of medication your doctor prescribes depends on your stage of high blood pressure and whether you also have other medical problems.
8 Medications to treat high blood pressure Thiazide diuretics like HydrochlorothiazideBeta blockers like AtenololAngiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. like EnalprilAngiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) like LosartanCalcium channel blockers like amlodipine
9 Renin inhibitors like Aliskiren (Tekturna) Alpha blockers like PrazosinAlpha-beta blockers like LabetalolCentral-acting agents like ClonidineVasodilators like hydralazine
10 Lifestyle changes to treat high blood pressure No matter what medications your doctor prescribes to treat your high blood pressure, you'll need to make lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure.These changes usually include eating a healthier diet with less salt (the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet), exercising more, quitting smoking and losing weight.
11 TreatmentTreatment — There is no uniform agreement as to which antihypertensive drugs should be given for initial therapy. The major options are:Thiazide-type diureticsAngiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)Calcium channel blockersBeta blockers, which are now used less often for initial therapy in the absence of a specific indication for their use