What is High Blood Pressure/Hypertension?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.The diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. They’re both measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

As a general guide:

  • high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80)
  • ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

Blood pressure readings between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure if you do not take steps to keep your blood pressure under control.

Everyone’s blood pressure will be slightly different. What’s considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else. Your target blood pressure will be different depending on your age and other medical conditions.

Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own blood pressure monitor. Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure. It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.

You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.

The British Hypertension Society (BHS) has information about validated blood pressure monitors that are available to buy. It’s important to make sure you use equipment that’s been properly tested.

How to perform Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

  • Sit comfortably, avoiding exercise, caffeine or smoking, for 30minutes before taking the readings.
  • Sit straight up with both feet on the ground, supporting your arm at heart level on a chair arm or table. Use the same arm each time you record.
  • Do not walk around or talk whilst you are taking the readings. .
  • Measure your blood pressure twice a day, ideally in the morning and the evening. Each time take 2 readings, 1 minute apart. Continue to measure your blood pressure twice a day for 7 days, making note using our Home Blood Pressure Diary.

Please scan or photograph the document and return it to hwlhccg.foundryhealthcarelewes@nhs.net OR drop in/post to the surgery. If there is any action needed you will be contacted by a doctor or a pharmacist.

If this will not be possible for you and you would like your blood pressure checked then kindly call 01273 480888 to make an appointment with the HCA.

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