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.

Check your blood pressure

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.

You can submit these readings to us via the following methods:

  • Email – scan/photograph the document and return it to sxicb-esx.foundryhealthcarelewes@nhs.net
  • In Surgery – bring/post the document to one of our surgeries.
  • New for 2023!  You may now be offered to submit Readings, via ‘Florence’, an intelligent SMS messaging service, designed to help people to easily record and submit readings for review.  However, this is currently only available for people with High Blood Pressure readings detected in clinic.

If there is any action needed you will be contacted by a doctor or a pharmacist.

You can also self-monitor your blood pressure WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT using our waiting room monitors, located at our St Andrews, River Lodge or Anchor Field sites, during usual opening times.  Please inform the reception Team of the lowest reading (via the result print-out slip provided) so it can be added to your medical records.

If you would like to have your blood pressure checked and cannot self monitor at home or in surgery then please do call 01273 480888 to make an appointment with one of our Healthcare Assistants.

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