Understanding the Two Types of Hypertension

Understanding the Two Types of Hypertension

When it comes to high blood pressure, the warning signs are subtle, if they appear at all. Yet millions of Americans are in a silent battle with this unseen disease, which threatens the health of your heart and blood vessels.

Our board-certified physicians at Beth and Howard Braver, MD are dedicated to helping patients in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, live healthy, full lives — including taking on the invisible threat of primary and secondary hypertension.

Find out more about the differences between primary and secondary hypertension and the treatment options that can help you reclaim control of your health. 

Types of hypertension

You’ve heard of hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure, which affects over 80 million Americans. But this silent killer damages your blood vessels and heart, usually without symptoms, making it a threat to your health. 

You may not know that there are two different types of hypertension: primary and secondary. Both of these types can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Though these are both forms of chronic high blood pressure, there are key differences between the two. 

Primary hypertension

Primary hypertension, also called essential hypertension, makes up about 95% of all hypertension. This means that most people are talking about primary hypertension if they refer to chronic high blood pressure.

There is no single known cause for primary hypertension, but there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of developing the condition. These include:

It’s important to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year, because high blood pressure can develop for no understandable reason. Early diagnosis means early treatment, which can prevent more damage to your blood vessels.

Secondary hypertension

Secondary hypertension develops due to an underlying medical condition or disease. Only about 5% of people with chronic high blood pressure have secondary hypertension, making it rare. 

There are many different underlying conditions that can cause secondary hypertension. Some of the most common include: 

Some medications cause side effects that may contribute to secondary hypertension. These medicines include birth control pills, stimulants, some antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (like ibuprofen and aspirin), diet pills, and decongestants.

Symptoms of chronic high blood pressure

Hypertension of both types can occur without symptoms or signs, even when your blood pressure reaches dangerously high numbers.

But there may be some signs that chronic high blood pressure is secondary hypertension. These signs include:

If you’re experiencing any of these signs of secondary hypertension, discuss them with us at Beth and Howard Braver, MD. You may need more frequent blood pressure checks to monitor your health.

How we help you manage your hypertension

We create a personalized treatment plan for your hypertension based on your current lifestyle, medical history, and type of blood pressure. Treating the underlying medical condition is essential for patients with secondary hypertension. 

Treatments for both primary and secondary hypertension include:

If you’re ready to learn more about the two types of hypertension, we can help. Give us a call at the office nearest you to book an appointment today.

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