What is High Blood Pressure?

Now, you might already be aware that high blood pressure is bad for you. 

But do you know what blood pressure numbers you should be worried about? 

Let’s find out how to understand whether or not your blood pressure is high enough for you to seek medical help. 

Let’s first start by discussing the normal blood pressure numbers and what they mean. 

When your heart beats, the blood exerts a certain amount of pressure on its artery walls. 

It’s called systolic blood pressure or the upper number that you see in your measurement. 

Typically, this number should be below a hundred and twenty for a healthy adult. 

Then there’s the lower number, which is called diastolic blood pressure. 

It’s the pressure that the blood exerts on the artery walls when your heart relaxes between two beats. 

This number should ideally be below eighty for healthy adults.

Now that we know what normal blood pressure looks like, let’s talk about numbers that are considered high. 

If you’re reading shows the upper number to be anywhere between a hundred and twenty and a hundred and twenty-nine, with the lower number still less than eighty, your blood pressure is likely to be considered elevated. 

There’s no need to panic yet, but this is an alarm for you to wake up and start taking preventive actions.

If your systolic blood pressure is a 130 or higher but is less than a 140, check your diastolic pressure, too. 

Chances are, your lower number is between eighty and eighty-nine. 

Please seek medical attention in this case. 

This condition is stage one of hypertension and based on your history, may or may not have to be treated with blood pressure medication. 

In the early stages, your doctor might simply suggest lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure.

Beyond a systolic blood pressure of 140, combined with a diastolic pressure of more than 90, it becomes a serious condition. 

It means you are at stage two of hypertension and must be treated with blood pressure medication. 

Although you might experience slight symptoms such as dizziness, headache, and shortness of breath even in stage one, in stage two they become more pronounced. Consult your general physician without delay.

A crisis occurs when your blood pressure crosses a hundred and eighty for the upper number and rises above a hundred and twenty for the lower number. 

Before rushing to the hospital, wait a few minutes and measure again. 

Sometimes the blood pressure goes down by itself. 

If it doesn’t, or if you have severe symptoms such as heavy nosebleed or chest pain, go to the ER immediately.

It’s important to remember that high blood pressure might be a common condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore the early warning signs. 

As with everything else, prevention is better than cure. 

Complications with blood pressure could lead to fatal conditions such as heart failure, kidney failure, and brain hemorrhage, 

So, be sure to monitor your blood pressure regularly to avoid a hypertension crisis.

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