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Managing High Blood Pressure: 4 Things Seniors Must Do


Studies show that about 70% of US adults 65 years and older have high blood pressure. Even worse, most don’t know they have this health issue. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is common among seniors as the vascular system changes with age. The arteries stiffen up, resulting in the blood pressure going up, leading to serious health problems, including cardiovascular diseases, eye problems, kidney disease, and vascular dementia. Here are four important things seniors must do to manage high blood pressure. 

Regularly monitor your blood pressure at home

Keeping track of your blood pressure will help you reduce it. Thankfully, you don’t need to visit your doctor, as you can do it at home with a portable home blood pressure monitor. The jury is out regarding how often to monitor, as some argue that doing this too often can stress you out, increasing your blood pressure as a result. So, be sure to keep your regular monitoring once a day or weekly, and not more. Some blood pressure devices can store your result history. But if yours doesn’t, record each measure in a notebook so you can track the changes over time.

Let the records guide your lifestyle changes

Flowing from the previous point, improvements in your blood pressure readings will let you know what lifestyle changes are working. You can also take hints from bad results regarding what changes to make. Aside from recording your measurements, note the changes you make in your daily life for reference. 

Quit smoking and drinking

This point should come as no surprise, as you probably already know the dangers of heavy smoking and drinking. But if you’re an aging adult, it’s important to avoid these habits entirely. Even small traces of these substances in your body can have serious health consequences apart from increasing your blood pressure. For example, you can experience a stroke, heart attack, or other cardiovascular-related issues. Smoking and drinking can also create problematic calcium deposits in your arteries, which increases your blood pressure. While intravascular lithotripsy companies have made massive advancements in treating calcium buildup in arteries, cutting back on smoking and drinking is still the best move.

Take your medications as prescribed

If your doctor has prescribed medications to help you manage your blood pressure, take them and stick to the dosage religiously. Be sure to follow every medical instruction given to the letter, avoid skipping your medications, and resist the urge to alter the dosage (for example, cutting your pills in half).  Also, set reminders so you don’t forget to take your medications, and get prescription refills in advance so you don’t run out. It’s important to also monitor the side effects of your medications. Your doctor may have already taken you through what to expect, but pay attention to other reactions your body may experience. If you notice anything odd or confused about any of your side effects, please reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

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