How To Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is a condition that occurs when the pressure in your arteries and blood vessels is too high. Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Increased pressure makes your arteries narrow. This makes it harder for blood to get where it needs to go.
High blood pressure increases the risk of serious conditions like stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Hypertension is often called the “silent killer.” It develops over the course of several years and you usually don’t notice any symptoms. In fact, nearly one third of people who have high blood pressure don't know it. Often the symptoms may get attributed to other issues. Symptoms of severe hypertension include:
- Visual changes
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in the urine
But don’t wait until these symptoms appear. Early detection and prevention are important parts of controlling high blood pressure. Regular blood pressure readings can help you and your doctor notice any changes. Your doctor will usually check your blood pressure as part of a routine visit. Remember, annual physicals are offered at no cost to all Service Benefit Plan members when seeing a Preferred provider.
Treatment options range from healthy lifestyle changes to prescription medication. Lifestyle changes, like maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and reducing stress may help reduce high blood pressure.
Additionally, prescription medication may be required. Your doctor will work with you to find the right medication or combination of medications. Taking your medication every day matters! Follow your doctor’s guidance. Take your medications exactly as prescribed for the best outcome.
You should also monitor your blood pressure regularly at home by purchasing your own cuff or joining FEP’s Hypertension Management Program. This program can help members monitor their blood pressure numbers at home with a blood pressure monitor at no out-of-pocket cost.* Having a blood pressure monitor helps you check your blood pressure as often as you like. You can easily track your numbers and then share with your doctor—this is important information because it allows your doctor to adjust your medications to reflect your body’s needs.
If you are having problems getting or taking your hypertension medicine, please give us a call and we can help. The Nurse Line is available for questions 24/7, just call 888-258-3432.
*You must be the contract holder or spouse, age 18 or older, to receive this benefit.