Hypertension – High Blood Pressure Testing and Treatment in Napa, Sonoma and Benicia
Urgent Care and TeleHealth
Occupational Medicine & Urgent Care located in Napa, Sonoma and Benicia
The most common way a person finds out they have hypertension is when they go to the doctor’s office for a blood pressure check. Some people use the automated blood pressure-testing machines that are common in pharmacies and grocery stores. However, there’s no way to know if these machines are accurate. It’s best to have a trained medical professional measure your blood pressure.
Unlike with most doctor offices, you can make a same-day appointment to have your blood pressure checked. You can also walk into the clinic to register for an appointment. Booking and registering is easy through our website.
We offer discreet diagnosis and treatment of common conditions, including hypertension. Our urgent care clinic costs less and is faster than going to an ER. We accept many insurance plans and offer a discount for those using an HSA or FSA.
How Do You Know If You Have Hypertension?
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood against the walls of your arteries. If the pressure gets too high, this may lead to heart disease. Therefore, it is important to monitor your blood pressure and to treat it when necessary.
There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading. The top number, called systolic pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number, also called diastolic pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries between each beat of your heart. Blood pressure is stated in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Medical scientists recommend that all adults maintain a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
Hypertension is a common condition, and many people don’t even know they have it. Fortunately, hypertension is easy to detect. Medical personnel at Urgent Care + TeleHealth use a simple arm cuff that inflates with air to measure blood pressure. Once you know your blood pressure is higher than recommended, you can take action to control it.
At our urgent care clinics in Napa and Benicia, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to take care of your health needs.
What Are the Symptoms of Hypertension?
Most people don’t have any symptoms of high blood pressure, even if their pressure level is dangerously high. A few people will develop symptoms, which may include headaches, nosebleeds and shortness of breath. When a person becomes symptomatic, their blood pressure level may be life-threatening.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Hypertension?
There are two types of hypertension. Primary hypertension has no known cause. It develops slowly as people get older.
Secondary hypertension is caused by another medical condition. It usually has a rapid onset. Secondary hypertension levels are often much higher than primary hypertension levels. Secondary hypertension may result from kidney disease, thyroid disorders, birth defects in the blood vessels, obstructive sleep apnea or tumors of the adrenal gland.
Some medications cause secondary hypertension. Birth control pills, over-the-counter pain relievers, nasal and sinus decongestants and cold remedies may cause hypertension. Illegal drugs, including amphetamines, may cause life-threatening hypertension.
There are many risk factors for hypertension. Some are controllable and some aren’t. The risk of hypertension increases as people get older. Race is another hypertension risk factor. People of African heritage often develop hypertension at younger ages than other races. There are also genetic components to high blood pressure, and the condition often runs in families.
Some risk factors for hypertension can be controlled. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of hypertension. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have high blood pressure. Tobacco use is another important factor in developing hypertension. Other controllable hypertension risk factors include a high-sodium diet, low potassium diet, alcohol misuse and stress.
Certain chronic or temporary medical conditions increase the risk of hypertension. People with diabetes are more likely to get high blood pressure. Pregnancy causes some women to develop preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure that puts the mother and child at risk.
What Are the Treatments for Hypertension?
Some people may be able to lower their blood pressure with lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, a low-sodium diet rich in lean protein and vegetables, quitting smoking and reducing stress may lower your blood pressure. If lifestyle changes don’t work, our providers may prescribe a medication to lower blood pressure. We will discuss all your options with you at your visit.
What Are the Classes of Blood Pressure Medications?
Doctors prescribe four main classes of medications to treat hypertension. Diuretics help the body eliminate sodium and excess water. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors make blood vessels relax and dilate. Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) stop arteries from stiffening. Calcium channel blockers relax the smooth muscle walls of blood vessels. If those medications don’t work, the second-tier of medications doctors prescribe includes alpha blockers, alpha-beta blockers, beta blockers, vasodilators, renin inhibitors and central-acting agents.
What Happens If Hypertension Goes Untreated?
Untreated hypertension could have deadly consequences. It may cause a heart attack or stroke. Vision loss is another common complication of untreated hypertension. Dementia, heart failure and kidney failure may develop after years of untreated high blood pressure.
To find out if you have hypertension or to begin treatment, contact one of our urgent care clinics, or stop in today for an appointment. We are always happy to take walk-ins as well.