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Feb 15, 2022

What is a chronic illness? Am I too young to have a chronic illness? How can I minimise the risks of chronic conditions? Does my medical aid cover me in such circumstances? The fear of the ‘unknown’, curiosity and taking the first step to prepare ourselves for unforeseen cases is understandable - especially when it comes to our health.

In a continuous effort to educate and ensure that you are maintaining a risk-free lifestyle, Bestmed Medical Scheme will be running an informative monthly series, covering chronic illnesses and lifestyle-related conditions to help you protect yourself and your loved ones. So don’t worry, we are here to answer all your questions and help you navigate through the influx of information to make sure you get all the relevant information relating to various chronic illnesses.

In the spotlight this month, we will be unpacking a common chronic condition called hypertension, better known as high blood pressure. This prevalent condition is best described as the force of blood pushing against the inside lining of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when that force increases and stays higher than normal for a period. This condition can damage the blood vessels, heart, brain and other organs.

Hypertension is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ as there is an estimated 46% of adults with hypertension worldwide who are unaware that they have the condition. It can, however, be detectable with some of the following symptoms listed below:

  • early morning headaches
  • nosebleeds
  • irregular heart rhythms
  • vision changes
  • buzzing in the ears

Fortunately, the early prevention and management of the condition is advisable by ensuring your blood pressure is measured regularly and through some ‘doable’ activities listed below:

Unfortunately, several complications may arise, should the condition not be controlled, which include: 

  • chest pain
  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • irregular heartbeat, which can lead to a sudden death
  • Fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • anxiety
  • chest pain
  • muscle tremors

In times of uncertainty, Bestmed believes in quality healthcare for everyone. This is why we offer a range of benefits for members with pre-existing or newly developed chronic conditions, such as hypertension. You can get your blood pressure tested when completing your Health Assessment (HA) at any of the Scheme’s network pharmacies (Dis-Chem, Clicks, Van Heerden, Alpha Pharm).

However, other benefits are subject to the plan you are currently on, pre-authorisation, Bestmed guidelines, Bestmed protocols and Mediscor Reference Price (MRP). You can access more information on these benefits by visiting: https://www.bestmed.co.za/tempo-wellness/tempo-wellness-programme or send an email towellness@bestmed.co.za.

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