Heart DiseaseHypertension

Let's Talk About Hypertension

High blood pressure is all about the numbers. When your readings rise, your heart can pay a price. We'll help you stay safe.

    Our Pro PanelHypertension

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in hypertension to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.

    Guy Mintz, M.D.Director of Cardiovascular Health & Lipidology

    Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital
    Manhasset, NY
    Swathy Kolli, M.D. headshot.

    Swathy Kolli, M.D.Cardiologist

    Orlando Health
    Orlando, FL
    Luke Laffin, M.D. headshot.

    Luke Laffin, M.D.Preventive Cardiologist

    Cleveland Clinic
    Cleveland, OH

    Frequently Asked QuestionsHypertension

    Can my high blood pressure be cured?

    Primary hypertension can’t be cured, per se, but it can be managed with lifestyle changes and, if you need them, medications. Because the disease is chronic, management will be a lifelong effort. The upside? Your life will be longer! If you have HBP due to an underlying (secondary) cause, treating that problem first might be enough to help your BP return to normal.

    How will I know if HBP treatment is working?

    If your doctor recommends lifestyle changes alone, it will likely take between three to six months to determine whether they will do the job. If he or she determines medications are in order, you’ll be monitored and likely know sooner than that if the drug (or drugs) of choice has successfully lowered your numbers.

    How long do I have before HBP does real damage?

    It usually takes years before organ damage occurs, but don’t give yourself a pass just because you don’t think it poses an immediate threat. HBP usually occurs alongside other concerns, like obesity and diabetes, so addressing it early and as aggressively as needed will improve your overall health.

    Can healthy blood pressure ever give a high reading?

    Yes! If you are in pain, feeling anxious or afraid, or just finished a workout or a cup of coffee, your blood pressure has likely risen, but only temporarily. It will return to normal. While severe spikes are medical emergencies, such as those caused by eclampsia, most often, high blood pressure generally raises concerns when it becomes chronic.

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen

    Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s covered everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus.