What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure.
Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually the systolic number comes before or above the diastolic number. For example, 120/80 means a systolic of 120 and a diastolic of 80.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to get diagnosed is to get regular blood pressure checks from health care provider where a gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff will be used. He or she will take two or more readings at separate appointments before making a diagnosis.
For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and sex.
What are the different types of high blood pressure?
The two main types of high blood pressure are primary and secondary high blood pressure.
- Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older.
- Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Why do I need to worry about high blood pressure?
When your blood pressure stays high over time, it causes the heart to pump harder and work overtime, possibly leading to serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure.
What are the treatments for high blood pressure?
Treatments for high blood pressure include;
- Heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.
- Heart-healthy eating and exercise can be very effective.
- May need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines.
- If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure.
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