Joe Robach knows that high blood pressure affects 65 million people in the United States, mostly seniors. Older people are at higher risk, as are those who smoke, carry extra pounds, and drink heavily. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly because people with the disease don’t always have clear symptoms. Most of the time, there are no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include: Chest pain ; confusion; ear noise or buzzing; irregular heartbeat; nosebleed; Tiredness; and Vision changes.
Joe Robach suggests that seniors see their health care provider to be checked for high blood pressure. Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and check your blood pressure. If the measurement is high, your doctor may think you have high blood pressure. The measurements need to be repeated over time, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed.
According to the AARP, if you monitor your blood pressure at home, you may be asked the following questions:
- What was your most recent blood pressure reading?
- What was the previous blood pressure reading?
- What is the average systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) reading?
- Has your blood pressure increased recently?
Other tests may be done to look for blood in the urine or heart failure. Your doctor will look for signs of complications to your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other organs in your body. Your doctor may tell you to exercise, lose weight, and follow a healthier diet. If you have pre-hypertension, your doctor will recommend the same lifestyle changes to bring your blood pressure down to a normal range.
Often, a single blood pressure drug may not be enough to control your blood pressure, and you may need to take two or more drugs. It is very important that you take the medications prescribed to you. If you have side effects, your health care provider can substitute a different medication.
If seniors want more information about high blood pressure, they can contact the office of Joe Robach.