Many drivers may be at a greater risk for high blood pressure than your average worker, due to the stressful nature of their jobs, a lack of physical activity and notoriously poor dietary habits while on the road. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the force of blood flowing through the arteries is too high. When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, eye issues, among other health issues.
Those who have high blood pressure often do not experience obvious signs or symptoms, so they might not realize they are walking around with these serious dangers. It is ESSENTIAL to get your blood pressure checked regularly to know where you stand, so you can help avoid these deadly issues.
Do you have high blood pressure?
The best place to get your blood pressure checked is at your primary care provider’s office – a healthcare professional like a doctor or nurse practitioner. You can also get your blood pressure checked at free or low-cost locations in your community, such as certain pharmacies and health clinics.
If you are diagnosed by a doctor with high blood pressure, it is important to take your medication as prescribed, even if you “feel fine.” Reach out to your doctor if you have questions about your treatment.
Eating a healthy, low-salt, high-calcium diet, exercising more often, and reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption can also help control high blood pressure.
Get the care that you need!
A visit to your primary care provider can help prevent and manage high blood pressure, so it is best to find a primary care provider you feel comfortable with. Don’t be shy about asking questions to learn more about your health. Every primary care provider has a different style – keep looking until you find one that you like and let them track your blood pressure and other health measurements over time.
Adults should have at least one general check-up each year with their primary care provider. At a typical general check-up, your provider will measure values such as your blood pressure, cholesterol, hemoglobin A1C (which measures your blood sugar over time), and Body Mass Index (BMI), which is calculated using your height and weight. The provider may also recommend cancer screenings or other blood tests depending on your age and other risk factors.
If your provider discovers that your blood pressure readings are high or that any of your values are abnormal, they can put together a treatment plan to help you control your health through medications and lifestyle changes.
Adults who have high blood pressure should visit their primary care provider every two to three months, rather than once annually. Ask your primary care provider how often you should visit to take care of your specific health needs.
If you already have a primary care provider, you can call the provider’s office to schedule a general check-up. If you do not have a primary care provider and you have health insurance, you can call your insurance company to find available providers near you. You can see a primary care provider at low cost, even if you do not have insurance, at New York Health+ Hospital centers or at federally qualified health centers throughout the city.
By taking care of your health today, you are driving towards a long, healthy future tomorrow. Don’t wait; schedule a general check-up to get your blood pressure checked!
Please call The Taxi Network, a community program for taxi drivers, at 917-280-3286 for more information and help getting primary care and health insurance.