The Basics About Blood Pressure and Hypertension
Do you know what blood pressure is? Blood is pumped under pressure by your heart inside your arteries – this is ‘blood pressure’. Pressure is measured under two conditions so the reading has two numbers, not one.
The top figure indicates how much pressure is produced each moment your heart beats – this is called systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is given by the bottom number and is the arterial blood pressure felt in-in-between heart beats.
What is normal blood pressure? This is regarded as a reading of 120 over 80 or lower depending upon age, lifestyle and existing medical problems. A reading of 140 over 90 or greater is regarded as high and you have hypertension. You should have your pressure checked regularly especially if you’re 50+ because high blood pressure carries a greater danger of strokes, heart and kidney disease.
Many things can cause hypertension including physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress and your diet.
High blood pressure can give rise to certain illnesses some of which can shorten your life. For example you may have a stroke. A stroke is a consequence of blood having bled into the brain through a weakened blood vessel which broke open because of high blood pressure.
One more reason it is best to maintain control on your blood pressure is that it may cause your blood vessels inside your eyes to bleed or burst. If this takes place your sight will be blurred or impaired and might even result in blindness.
Along with a stroke or impaired eyesight, high blood pressure can also trigger a heart attack for the reason that it damages the vessels that bring blood carrying oxygen to your heart muscle. If your heart is not getting sufficient oxygen you will be subjected to chest pain. If the blood supply is obstructed as well you will undergo a heart attack.
Now you appreciate that hypertension is a condition not to be taken lightly, you should also take symptoms such as chest pains seriously and see your doctor. On the other hand, don’t be fatalistic about hypertension – if it is kept under control you will not become ill because of it.
Regular BP checks can ensure you get treatment to avert serious problems developing. You could also get a home pressure monitoring device and do your own checks, particularly if you have fear of doctors, but consult your doctor before you do and confirm you can use it correctly. Do not worry about a single high pressure reading – this can happen for all sorts of reasons.
Keep in mind that regardless of how acute your high blood pressure is, if it is controlled by treatment and/or lifestyle measures, you have an excellent chance of living a long and health life.