Hypertension is persistently high blood pressure that a person can have without showing noticeable symptoms. When arteries are narrowed and blood is forced through at a high pressure, over time there can be damage to the artery walls. This can lead to serious medical conditions, such as heart disease. Often, the only way to know if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked. At Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano, we check all of our patients’ blood pressure to screen for any signs of hypertension.
“There are times a patient comes in for something minor like stitches and then we discover a more urgent concern with his blood pressure levels,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “We highly recommend an annual blood pressure checkup to watch for any early signs of hypertension.”
What kind of health conditions can be caused by hypertension1?
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Vision loss
- Kidney failure
- Sexual dysfunction
What do the numbers mean?
When you have your blood pressure checked, two numbers are recorded: the systolic and diastolic measurements. The systolic, or first number, measures the pressure of the blood in your arteries while the heart beats. The second number is the diastolic measurement. It tells you what the pressure is like when your heart rests between beats. If the systolic measurement is 120 and the diastolic is 80, it is reported to be “120 over 80.”
What is a normal blood pressure reading?
According to the CDC, a normal blood pressure rate would be less than 120/80 mmHg. An elevated rate would be 120 to 129 over 80. And a hypertension rate would be 130 or higher, and higher than 80 diastolic.
A hypertensive crisis requiring immediate medical care would be a reading higher than 180/120.
“If you’re taking your blood pressure at home and you find it is in a hypertension stage, come in to Medco ER & Urgent Care right away,” said Dr. Khan. “We will check your blood pressure again and will give you a complete examination.”
How do I check my blood pressure at home?
You can easily obtain a digital blood pressure machine at most stores. Take your blood pressure consistently twice a day, such as at the same time in the morning and evening. Do not eat, drink or smoke for 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure and don’t exercise. Be quiet for 5 minutes before taking it.
Sit straight at a table with your feet flat on the floor and your arm resting on the table with the upper arm at the height of your heart. Place the blood pressure cuff on your bare arm just above the elbow. Don’t talk while you take the reading. Wait one minute and take another reading to compare. Record your measurements on a sheet of paper with the time and date, or a log.
Treatment for hypertension
“Take your blood pressure every day, twice a day and keep a log,” said Dr. Khan. “Make sure you are under a doctor’s supervision. Your physician may prescribe medication to manage your blood pressure. Also, you can start to make some lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure.”
Lifestyle changes we recommend:
- Regular exercise
- Diet low in sodium – under 1,500 mg a day
- Lose weight / maintain a healthy weight
- Eat healthier – low fat, more fruits and vegetables
- Limit alcohol
- Don’t smoke
- Get plenty of sleep
What will Medco ER & Urgent Care do for me?
If your blood pressure is too high or perhaps even too low, we can evaluate it and examine you to determine the best course of action. If you take a reading at home and it is in the hypertension range, come in and we will examine you and craft a treatment plan that’s right for you. We are open 24/7 every day of the year to make sure you have easy access to top quality medical care.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000