Hypertension is a potentially serious health condition that affects nearly half of American adults. At Valley Medical Center: Duck Lim, MD, in Granada Hills, California, Dr. Lim maintains the professional expertise to treat men and women who are experiencing hypertension and related health problems. Dr. Lim speaks Korean and his friendly staff includes a Spanish-speaking nurse. If you’re concerned that you might have hypertension, call or schedule a consultation online today and Dr. Lim will offer effective, reasonably priced care for your condition.
Commonly known as high blood pressure, hypertension occurs when your blood pressure — the force of blood inside your vessels — is higher than is healthy for you. Over time, the increased pressure makes your blood vessels and your heart work too hard.
The force of this blood flow in your vessels creates friction, which can harm the fragile tissues inside your arteries. At the same time, this damage allows plaque — a build-up of the unhealthy kind of cholesterol — to gradually clog your arteries, potentially leading to serious heart conditions.
You may not know you have hypertension. Most people with the condition show no signs or symptoms, or may confuse the symptoms with something else.
One danger sign is skyrocketing blood pressure, but even then you may not realize you have hypertension. However, there are a few symptoms of hypertension to look for, including:
Nevertheless, it’s important to know that these symptoms don't typically appear until your hypertension has progressed to a point where it’s severe or life-threatening.
A blood pressure test can diagnose whether you have hypertension or not. In this test, Dr. Lim or a medical professional in his office wraps an inflatable pressure cuff around your upper arm. This cuff is called a sphygmomanometer.
Once inflated, the cuff pushes down on your brachial artery, stopping blood flow for just a few seconds. Next, the air slowly escapes the cuff, as Dr. Lim or one of his associates measure your blood pressure with a stethoscope or watch the pressure reading on an electronic readout.
This test produces a reading of your systolic blood pressure (the top number) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. The term mm Hg means millimeters of mercury.
Depending on your results, you may need additional tests, including a cholesterol test, blood tests, a urinalysis, or an electrocardiogram, which measures your heart's electrical activity.
Lifestyle changes can improve your blood pressure and help manage your hypertension. You’ll want to consider adding heart-healthy foods to your diet and avoiding too much salt. You may also benefit from:
Prescription medications can also help manage hypertension. Dr. Lim may discuss whether diuretics or medications that relax the blood vessels may be right for you.
If you think you’d benefit from having your blood pressure tested, or think you may be experiencing hypertension, call or schedule a consultation online today. Dr. Lim will explain the diagnostic and treatment options to help you maintain good health.