What Is Hypertension?

Hypertension is an often unnoticeable condition that can lead to bigger health issues, some of which are life-threatening.

Hypertension occurs when the force of blood against the walls of the arteries remains consistently too high. Blood pressure readings comprise two numbers: systolic (the top number, indicating the force of blood in the arteries when the heart beats) and diastolic (the bottom number, representing the force when the heart is at rest between beats). A reading above 130/80 mm Hg is typically considered high.

While it’s normal for blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, chronic hypertension can lead to:

  • Damage to arteries and the heart
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Vision loss, and other health issues

That’s why it’s important to get regular blood pressure monitoring, so you can detect early warning signs or onset of hypertension and implement treatments to combat it.


Causes of Hypertension

Hypertension can be classified into two main types:

  • Primary (Essential) Hypertension: The most common type, where the exact cause isn’t identified but is linked to genetics, age, and lifestyle factors
  • Secondary Hypertension: Resulting from an underlying condition like kidney disease, hormonal disorders, or as a side effect of medications

If your genetic history or an underlying condition put you at a higher risk for hypertension, it’s important to be aware of the causes and interventions that can help you lessen your risk and reduce the dangers. A treatment provider who analyzes your entire health history can help you protect your health, by proactively adopting strategies that benefit your well-being. 


Hypertension Treatment

Managing hypertension effectively requires a multifaceted approach tailored to the individual’s needs. A hypertension treatment plan may include one or more of the following strategies.

Medication: There are several classes of blood pressure medications, and the best option depends on the patient’s specific condition, age, and other health factors.

Lifestyle Modifications: Often, making lifestyle changes can significantly impact blood pressure levels. This includes:
  • Adopting a balanced diet, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet
  • Reducing salt and alcohol intake
  • Regular physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing stress
Regular Monitoring: It’s crucial to monitor blood pressure regularly. We equip our patients with the knowledge to self-monitor at home, in conjunction with regular check-ups at our clinic.

Patient Education: We believe that an informed patient is an empowered one. Our team provides resources and workshops to help patients understand their condition, treatment options, and self-management techniques.
Addressing Underlying Conditions: If the hypertension is secondary, treating the root cause is paramount. This may involve adjusting medications or managing the primary health issue causing the elevated blood pressure.

Optima Medical Hypertension Program

  • First, your provider will conduct an initial comprehensive analysis, as well as subsequent ongoing evaluations. The provider will also review detailed medical history, associated symptoms and social behaviors.
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram (echo)
  • Ultrasounds
  • Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
  • At-home sleep study
  • Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk score
  • Statin drugs
  • ACE / ARB drugs
  • Initial therapy weekly or every 2 weeks
  • Maintenance quarterly
  • Your provider will review your results
  • Receive a dedicated care manager
  • Get a re-evaluation of interventions
  • Smart telemedicine blood pressure monitoring
  • Personalized diet regimen
  • Top-of-the-line, medical-grade meal replacement and supplements
  • Discounted gym membership

Hypertension FAQs

Q: What exactly is hypertension, and why is it often called the “silent killer”?

A: Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition where the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. It’s often dubbed the “silent killer” because it typically occurs with no noticeable symptoms. Yet, if left untreated, it can lead to severe health complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, and more.


Q: How is blood pressure measured, and what do the numbers mean?

A: Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer, which provides a reading in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The reading comprises two numbers: the systolic pressure (top number) and the diastolic pressure (bottom number). The systolic pressure indicates the force of blood in the arteries when the heart contracts (beats), while the diastolic pressure represents the force when the heart is at rest between beats. A normal reading is usually around 120/80 mm Hg. Hypertension is generally diagnosed when a reading consistently exceeds 130/80 mm Hg.


Q: Are there lifestyle changes that can help manage or prevent hypertension?

A: Absolutely. Several lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on blood pressure levels. These include:

  • Adopting a heart-healthy diet, like the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet
  • Reducing salt and alcohol consumption
  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing and reducing stress
  • Avoiding or limiting tobacco use

Making these changes can not only help manage hypertension, but can also play a crucial role in preventing its onset.


Q: Can hypertension be cured, or is it a lifelong condition?

A: Hypertension cannot typically be “cured” in the conventional sense, but it can be effectively managed and controlled. With the right combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and regular monitoring, many individuals can maintain blood pressure levels within a normal range. However, even if blood pressure is normalized, it’s crucial to continue with the recommended treatments and lifestyle habits to prevent its recurrence or escalation.

Book an appointment now

 Our team at Optima Medical is ready to support you with hypertension diagnosis and treatment in Phoenix. Find an Optima Medical location near you, and make an appointment.