Treating hypertension can help you avoid several serious health problems, such as stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, discuss the condition and share information on treatment options.
How can I tell if I have hypertension?
Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, may not produce any symptoms initially. Unfortunately, damage to your blood vessels and arteries can occur even if you don't notice any changes in your health. If you don't receive treatment for your hypertension and your condition worsens, you may notice a few of these symptoms:
- Vision problems
- Pounding in your head, chest or ears
Because it's impossible to predict who will develop hypertension, regular blood pressure screenings are very important, particularly if other family members have the condition.
What can I do to lower my high blood pressure?
When you visit our Morristown office, we may recommend one or more lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure, including losing weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating a healthy, low-salt diet or quitting smoking. In addition to these positive changes, you may also benefit from medication to lower your blood pressure, such as one or more of these types of prescription drugs:
- Diuretics: Diuretics cause your body to release more water and salt in your urine, which lowers the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. When the fluid level is reduced, your blood pressure drops.
- ACE Inhibitors: These drugs widen and relax your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure and reducing the strain on your heart.
- Calcium Channel Blockers: Calcium channel blockers not only dilate your blood vessels but also lower both your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Beta Blockers: Beta blockers block adrenaline, a hormone that speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.
- Alpha Blockers: Alpha blockers help relax the walls of your blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: These medications prevent angiotensin, a natural body chemical that triggers the narrowing of the blood vessels, from affecting your vessels.
Keeping your blood pressure under control can help you avoid serious health complications. Call our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Blum, Dr. Cosmi, and Dr. Freilich, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule an appointment.
Could you have heart disease? Early signs of the disease can often be confused for other ailments. Our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, share a few symptoms that may occur if you have heart disease.
Your hands or feet are always cold
Cold hands and feet can occur if you have a circulation problem due to atherosclerosis. Commonly known as hardening of the arteries, the condition develops when fatty plaque coats the lining of your arteries, reducing blood flow to your arms and legs.
Do you feel tired all of the time, no matter how much sleep you get? Extreme fatigue can be a sign of heart disease. Exhaustion can also occur for a variety of other reasons, including anemia, depression or medication side effects.
You can't fit into to your shoes
Heart disease may be to blame if your feet have begun to swell. Swelling can occur if you have a heart valve problem or can be a sign of heart failure.
Exercise is difficult
If you can no longer make it through your regular exercise routine or find it difficult to take a walk around the block in your Morristown neighborhood, your symptoms may be caused by heart disease. If you have the disease, you may feel dizzy, experience shortness of breath and feel extremely tired even if the activity doesn't require much exertion.
You get frequent leg cramps
Can't figure out why your leg muscles have suddenly started to cramp when you walk, but get better when you stay off your feet? You may have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD occurs when plaque begins to build up in the arteries in your leg. Your risk of atherosclerosis is higher if you have PAD.
You have chest pain
Chest pain can be a symptom of angina, a condition that occurs when the normal blood flow to your heart is decreased due to an underlying heart issue. Angina symptoms are similar to heart attack symptoms and may include squeezing pain or pressure in the chest, indigestion, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain in the arm, jaw or neck or shoulder. If you haven't been diagnosed with angina and experience these symptoms, go to the emergency room immediately.
Potential heart disease symptoms should never be ignored. If you have any of these symptoms, call our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Blum, Dr. Cosmi and Dr. Freilich, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule an appointment.
Learn more about what goes into getting a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Has one of our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists - Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi or Dr. Ira Freilich - recently told you that you need to get a percutaneous valve replacement? If so, then you may feel a bit nervous to know that you have to undergo heart surgery. While open heart surgery has traditionally been the way to replace and repair valves, now we offer a less invasive procedure to replace this valve.
What is TAVR?
This FDA-approved surgery is a minimally invasive way to repair a narrowing aortic valve without needing invasive open heart surgery. As a result, this can be performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia. In many cases, a catheter is placed into the femoral artery of the groin, where one of our Morristown heart doctors will direct the replacement heart valve through the catheter until it reaches the aortic valve. Once inside the heart, a new valve is positioned into the proper place before the catheter is removed.
Of course, there are so instances in which the catheter is placed into the apex or aorta of the heart and the valve is delivered this way. In this case, small incisions will need to be made in the chest so that we can place the catheter. Of course, these incisions are significantly smaller than in traditional open heart surgery. Plus, the recovery process is much faster after getting TAVR than with traditional heart surgery, which means a shorter stay in the hospital after your procedure.
Who is a good candidate for TAVR?
Patients who have severe aortic stenosis who may not be ideal candidates for open heart surgery can get the valve repair and replacement they require through a TAVR procedure. Older adults (often 70 years old or older) and those with other health conditions may be ideal candidates for this heart surgery.
Do you have questions about your upcoming TAVR procedure? Do you need to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist in Morristown, NJ? If so, then it’s time you called Cardiology Associates of Morristown.
According to the American Heart Association, over 92 million American adults are living with some type of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease it is a top ailment due to the poor diets of Americans, stress, and heredity. The team at Cardiology Associates of Morristown, NJ, is committed to helping patients avoid serious complications related to heart disease. Learn when you should see a cardiologist and the treatments this important doctor can offer you.
What Does a Cardiologist Do?
In short, a cardiologist is a doctor that specializes in matters of the heart. They help patients manage heart-related issues including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They are trained specifically to identify, treat and prevent conditions that can affect the heart. Cardiologists commonly see patients who have had heart attacks, murmurs or stroke, or who are at risk for these issues. Tests are available to help at-risk patients get the treatments they need before there’s a more serious health problem.
When Should You See a Heart Doctor?
Make an appointment with a Morristown cardiologist if any of the following situations applies to you:
- You’re over the age of 40
- You’re struggling with obesity
- You have a family history of heart disease
- You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
- You have had a stroke or heart attack in the past
- You’re experiencing strange symptoms, including dizziness, weakness, nausea or pains in the chest
- Your primary physician recommends that you see a cardiologist
Common Tests and Treatments
Here are some of the most common tests that a cardiologist performs:
- Blood pressure tests
- Echocardiograms (EKG)
- Stress tests (including nuclear stress testing)
- Head Up Tilt Table (HUTT) tests
- Cardiac catheterization
If you’re diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, your cardiologist will likely recommend heart, cholesterol and blood pressure medicines to manage your condition. Stenting may also be used if blockages are identified. In more advanced cases of heart disease, surgery may be necessary.
Consult with a Cardiologist
A cardiologist is an important doctor to see to ensure your ongoing heart health. Call (973) 889-9001 today to schedule an initial visit to Cardiology Associates of Morristown in Morristown, NJ.
Think you don't have to worry about heart disease? More people die from the disease than from all types of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association. Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Edward Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, your Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, share a few tips that will help keep your heart healthy.
Eat a healthy diet
Improve your heart health with a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains,
Keep your heart strong by exercising at least 2 1/2 hours per week. Choose aerobic activities that elevate your heart rate, such as walking or swimming, and combine them with muscle-strengthening exercises at least two or three times a week. Exercising can reduce your risk of developing several diseases and conditions that can harm your heart, such as
Smoking can increase your risk of heart disease by:
- Raising your blood pressure and heart rate
- Clogging your arteries with plaque
- Damaging your blood vessels
It's never too late to quit smoking. As early as two weeks to three months after you quit, your heart attack risk begins to drop, notes the American Lung Association.
Do you smoke, drink or eat too much when you're stressed? Those habits increase your risk of heart disease and are often ineffective in relieving stress. Your Morristown doctors want you to get a little exercise instead. Although exercise is an excellent natural stress reliever, any activity that helps you relax and isn't unhealthy can protect your heart from the damaging effects of stress.
Protect your heart health by making a few lifestyle changes and visiting your doctor for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. Are you concerned about your heart health? Call Dr. Blum, Dr. Edward Cosmi and Dr. Freilich, your Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule your appointment.
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