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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is an extremely common condition that affects over 85 million people in the United States. Blood pressure is the measure of force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. You experience hypertension when this pressure becomes too strong. Normal blood pressure levels are 120/80 mm Hg. Hypertension begins with levels above 130/80 mm Hg.

High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, or heart attack. Known as the “silent killer,” those suffering with high blood pressure typically do not experience any symptoms. Only when hypertension reaches extreme levels will symptoms begin to show. These include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Headaches
  • Impaired Vision
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Heart Palpitations

So what causes high blood pressure? While there are certainly contributing factors, the exact cause of hypertension is not easily determined. Some factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High amount of salt in food
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Stress
  • Genetics

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected and there are steps you can take to prevent it. Because it can often go unnoticed, regular blood pressure checks are crucial in order to detect and treat it. At Middle Georgia Heart, our providers are experts in the treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions and are ready to offer you comprehensive medical care. We also offer help and direction for lifestyle changes that can help treat hypertension.