How to detect hypertension early?

Detect hypertension:

Hypertension usually starts in middle-aged and young people, and those with a family history may develop the disease at an earlier age. Most patients have subtle symptoms, and the disease progresses slowly and lasts for a long time. In the early stages, blood pressure fluctuates and is sometimes high and sometimes normal. Increased blood pressure is more likely to occur during physical exertion, mental stress, and emotional fluctuations. After resting and removing some of the mentioned factors, blood pressure can return to normal.

How to detect hypertension early?
How to detect hypertension early?

As the disease progresses, blood pressure may become persistently high or the fluctuation range decreases. The degree of subjective symptoms and blood pressure elevation may not be consistent. About half of the patients have no obvious symptoms, and hypertension is discovered during physical examinations or when seeking medical care for other illnesses. A few patients only confirm the diagnosis of hypertension when complications such as heart, brain, or kidney diseases occur. Based on these characteristics of hypertension, it can be detected early through the following methods.

  1. Regularly check blood pressure. Regardless of whether there are symptoms, it’s important to develop the habit of checking blood pressure regularly. Generally, people aged 20-35 should check at least once a year, and those aged 35 and above should check at least twice a year. Record the results, time, and location of each measurement as a file. Consult a doctor promptly if any abnormalities occur.
  2. Develop the habit of checking blood pressure during each visit to the doctor. Whether you’re visiting the doctor for any reason or going to a big hospital or a small clinic, don’t forget to ask the doctor to measure your blood pressure.
  3. Self-check blood pressure. This is when a person measures their blood pressure at home or in other environments for themselves or their family members. It’s convenient and easy to do, without time or frequency limitations, and it can help avoid white coat hypertension. Self-checking blood pressure is more helpful for discovering early-stage hypertension. When taking blood pressure readings, take the average of two readings and record the time, location, and blood pressure value. The recommended normal upper limit for self-checking blood pressure is 135/85mmHg.
  4. Pay attention to blood pressure fluctuations. If there are fluctuations in blood pressure, or if the original blood pressure is rising, or if it remains in the normal value range, especially when there are early symptoms of hypertension, such as headaches, neck pain, dizziness, fatigue, and palpitations, pay attention and ask why. Be more vigilant and pay attention to changes in blood pressure, increasing the frequency of blood pressure measurement, and consulting a doctor whenever necessary. For those with three or more risk factors for hypertension, also increase the frequency of checking blood pressure and consult a doctor frequently.

What is white coat hypertension?

White coat hypertension, also known as clinic hypertension, refers to the phenomenon of temporarily elevated blood pressure readings when measured by healthcare professionals in a medical environment, resulting in blood pressure levels above normal. Approximately 15% of people have significantly higher blood pressure readings in hospitals than at home. The systolic pressure may be 20mmHg higher than normal, and the diastolic pressure may be 10mmHg higher. This condition can occur in both people with normal blood pressure and those with hypertension. It can be seen in both first-time testers and multiple testers.

Simple white coat hypertension does not require treatment. Self-measurement of blood pressure can prevent the occurrence of white coat hypertension. Currently, it is believed that home blood pressure measurements are more accurate for the diagnosis of hypertension than clinic blood pressure readings.

Can an electronic blood pressure monitor be used for self-measurement?

Self-measurement of blood pressure currently commonly employs sphygmomanometers and electronic blood pressure monitors. For families with a professional medical background, using an electronic blood pressure monitor at home is more convenient and accurate. Choose electronic blood pressure monitors that have passed international standards (BHS and AAMJ) for measurement. Based on the location of the cuff inflation patch, electronic blood pressure monitors are divided into upper arm, wrist, and finger type. The upper arm type is more reliable and is recommended for use. The normal upper limit reference value is 135/85mmHg. Home self-measured blood pressure is usually lower than clinic blood pressure, with a home blood pressure of 130/85mmHg equivalent to a hospital blood pressure of 140/90mmHg.

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