Hypertension: How to Understand the Readings

Hypertension: How to Understand the Readings

Mar 01, 2020

It is said that what you don’t know won’t hurt you, but that is not the case with blood pressure. What you don’t know about high blood pressure can be harmful or even fatal. Remember that hypertension is a silent disease, meaning it is benign in the first stages, and only shows symptoms if any in advanced stages. Therefore, it is critical to know how to interpret the high blood pressure readings.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension occurs when the heart forcefully pumps the blood through the arteries thereby causing heart problems. Because it is a silent heart condition, you can have blood pressure for years without having any symptoms. However, even without high blood pressure symptoms, the doctor can still detect any damage to your blood vessels. That’s why it’s important to walk into a clinic near you for assessment if you feel any abnormality in your heartbeat and breathing.

It is important to have a high blood pressure test often when you turn 18 years regardless of your health status. However, if you are diagnosed with hypertension, monitoring your blood pressure readings is the first step in controlling it. Keep in mind, hypertension is a chronic condition, meaning it develops over time and it has no cure; it can only be managed.

How Can You Know the Readings?

The heart has veins and arteries. The arteries pump blood from the lungs to the rest of the body while veins pump blood from the body to the lungs. Now, when your heart beats it contracts and creates pressure to pump blood to the rest of the body, that is what doctors call systolic pressure/ upper reading.

When the heart relaxes in between beats to refill with oxygenated blood, the pressure is called diastolic pressure. Both the systolic and diastolic pressure is expressed in millimeters of mercury.

· Normal pressure
Normal blood pressure is where you have a systolic pressure of between 90 and 120 and a diastolic pressure of between 60 and 80. Normal pressure is 90/60 or 120/80 mm Hg in adults.

Take note; even if you have normal blood pressure, you still need to maintain a proper lifestyle to keep the pressure from surging.

· Elevated
You have elevated blood pressure if the reading is higher than 120/80 mm Hg. Although the reading is not considered high blood pressure, you are above the normal range. No medication is not required at this stage, but you still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep the situation from developing into high blood pressure.

· Stage 1
The doctor will diagnose you with stage one hypertension if you have an average of systolic pressure of between 130 and 139 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of between 80 and 89 mm Hg.

· Stage 2
Stage 2 of hypertension is characterized by systolic pressure of 140 or more mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of 90 or higher mm Hg. At this stage, the doctor may recommend medications to keep your pressure in control plus lifestyle change.

· Hypertension Crisis
You are in the danger zone when your high blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg. At this stage, you need urgent treatment even without the symptoms.

You may not have high blood pressure symptoms, however, you need to seek emergency care in Waco when you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, vision changes, and dizziness.

How Can You Manage High Blood Pressure?

A lifestyle change is a primary way of managing hypertension, and here are a few tips:

  • Lose weight and it increases the risk of hypertension
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits
  • Reduce sodium and alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking and cut back on caffeine
  • Reduce stress
  • Monitor your blood pressure often

High blood pressure is not curable, but you can manage it and live a productive life by following the above-mentioned steps. However, if you are diagnosed with hypertension and have shortness of breath and dizziness, you need to visit our Express ER in Waco. We have a 24-hour emergency room designed to cater to the different emergencies that may occur.

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