What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure
Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about
- Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
- Not smoking
- Managing stress
In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.
Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.
The Blood Pressure Chart
Once you know your numbers, you can use the blood pressure chart to see what they mean and if your blood pressure is in the healthy range. The chart is suitable for adults of any age, as the cut-off point for diagnosing high blood pressure doesnt change with age.
How to use the blood pressure chart
Simply find your top number on the left side of the chart and your bottom number on the bottom. Where the two lines meet is your blood pressure.
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Checking Blood Pressure At Home
Keeping track of blood pressure at home is important for many people, especially if you have high blood pressure. This helps you and your doctor find out if your treatment is working.
Your doctor may also suggest that you check your pressure at home if they think you may have “white coat hypertension.” It’s a real condition. The stress of being in a doctor’s office raises your blood pressure, but when you’re home, it’s normal.
Ask your doctor to recommend an easy-to-use home blood pressure monitor. Make sure the cuff fits properly. If your arm is too big for the cuff, the reading may be higher than your blood pressure really is. Ask your doctor for a larger cuff or make sure you buy a home monitor with a cuff that fits you.
You also can use a wrist blood pressure monitor, but they often aren’t as accurate. Follow the directions that come with the device to make sure you are using it correctly.
No matter which type of blood pressure monitor you have, it’s a good idea to take it to your doctor’s office. You can compare its reading to the numbers your doctor gets. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and exercise for at least 30 minutes before the test.
When you take your blood pressure at home, sit up straight in a chair and put both feet on the floor. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you the right way to position your arm so you get accurate readings.
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What Is The Normal Blood Pressure Range For Different Age Groups
Scientifically, blood pressure is the measurement of the force applied by the blood against the artery walls. An uncontrollable rise in BP can harden and scar the arteries. Hence, it is essential to know what the normal blood pressure is age-wise.
Typically, two crucial factors are checked when measuring the pressure in arteries. The first number, or systolic blood pressure, is the measurement of pressure in arteries during the cardiac cycles contraction phase. Diastolic blood pressure is the measurement of pressure in arteries during the relaxation phase.
Let us now understand the normal blood pressure range for different age groups in detail.
High Blood Pressure Treatments
Treating high blood pressure often involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Here are the most common hypertension treatments:
|Popular high blood pressure medications|
- Cold and sweaty skin
- Quick and shallow breathing
Sudden drops in blood pressure can cause any of these symptoms, and if your blood pressure drops suddenly, your body can even go into shock. Having chronically low blood pressure can be dangerous because the body wont get enough oxygen to the heart and brain, which may cause permanent damage. Even though its possible to get symptoms from low blood pressure, its common to have low blood pressure and not have any symptoms. This is why regularly checking your blood pressure with a blood pressure monitor is essential.
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Why Is High Blood Pressure A Concern
High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke . With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood.
Heart attack and stroke related to high blood pressure are rare in children and adolescents. Yet, studies of young adults with high blood pressure found that many had high blood pressure as a child. By their 20s, studies show that children and adolescents with high blood pressure will exhibit harmful effects on the heart and blood vessels even with mild hypertension.
Blood Pressure Levels At A Glance
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . 1 mmHg is equivalent to a pressure of about 133 pascal or 0.00133 bar.
There are two blood pressure readings: systolic blood pressure measures the maximum pressure generated during the contraction phase of the left ventricle of the heart. Diastolic blood pressure is the remaining pressure during the relaxation phase of the heart.
Ideally, blood circulates at a maximum pressure of 120 over 80 mmHg. Up to 129/84 is considered normal elevated blood pressure up to 139/89 is still considered to be within the normal range. Higher levels may be a sign of potentially harmful high blood pressure: 159/99 is considered slightly high blood pressure and levels over 180/110 are considered to be severe high blood pressure.
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Blood Pressure Chart For Seniors
Your heart pressure measurement is composed of two numbers, the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The systolic blood pressure measures your arteries pressure when your heart beats, and the diastolic pressure measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests. The American Heart Association classifies seniors blood pressure ranges into five categories ranging from normal to hypertensive crisis .
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High Blood Pressure And Daily Activity
Check with your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing your level or intensity. Be active safely. Build up your levels of activity gradually.
Try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer, if that is more convenient.
Physical activity is any form of bodily movement performed by our large muscle groups. Moderate-intensity physical activity , such as brisk walking or cycling, is enough to provide health benefits.
Walking is a great activity for all ages. You may like to join one of the Heart Foundations community walking groups.
Some types of exercises, such as body presses and lifting heavy weights, can raise your blood pressure. Avoid these if you have high blood pressure.
When To Call Your Doctor
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.
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Signs And Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure may not have any symptoms and so hypertension has been labeled “the silent killer.” Longstanding high blood pressure can lead to multiple complications including heart attack, kidney disease, or stroke.
Some people experience symptoms with their high blood pressure. These symptoms include:
- The Feeling of pulsations in the neck or head
What Are Normal Blood Pressure Levels
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Blood pressure is the force of blood against blood vessel walls as it moves throughout the circulatory system. A persons blood pressure will rise and fall throughout the day, but having abnormally high or low blood pressure could indicate underlying health conditions. Lets take a more in-depth look at blood pressure levels to understand what it means if your blood pressure is high or low.
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Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
Does Normal Blood Pressure Change With Age
Just as our blood pressure readings change according to our posture, sleep time, and stress levels throughout the day, our blood pressure changes as we age. Despite the fluctuating or changing measurements, we should maintain a normal range. As we age, we can expect changes in our cardiovascular health, including our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are several factors that reflect our blood pressure levels over the years, including normal blood pressure for seniors.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your blood pressure measured, you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Chart: What Are Normal Blood Pressure Ranges By Age For Women
As with men, women’s average BP ranges also vary by age group. The age group with the lowest normal blood pressure reading is different between the systolic and diastolic reading. Women ages 21-25 have the lowest normal diastolic reading , while women age 31-35 have the lowest normal systolic reading . The age group with the highest normal blood pressure reading is women ages 56-60 .
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Categories Of Blood Pressure Range
The blood pressure range is categorised into five types
- Normal Reading: Blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg is considered to be normal.
- Elevated: Elevated blood pressure readings consistently range up to 129 systolic and below 80 mmHg diastolic. Individuals with elevated blood pressure are usually under stress and at risk of high blood pressure. Therefore, they are suggested to practice meditation.
- Hypertension Stage I: Whenever the readings show 130-139 systolic and 80-89 mmHg diastolic, it is considered hypertension stage I. Doctors prescribe lifestyle changes, nutritious diets, medications and stress-relieving exercises to these patients. This is done to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Hypertension Stage II: The blood pressure readings of individuals consistently range up to 140 systolic and 90 mmHg or higher in this condition. Doctors may prescribe a combination of both medications and lifestyle changes for such patients.
- Hypertensive Crisis: If an individuals blood pressure exceeds 180/120 mmHg, it is termed a hypertensive crisis. This requires immediate medical attention.
Now that you know the different categories and the normal blood pressure range across ages, do not forget to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet to prevent hypotension and hypertension.
Which Number Is More Important
Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.
However, either an elevated systolic or an elevated diastolic blood pressure reading may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. According to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.
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High blood pressure can drive up your risk of developing serious health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease. Lifestyle factors can cause your blood pressure to rise to an unhealthy level. Low blood pressure is less common but it can be just as concerning. How can you tell if your blood pressure is dangerously high?
High blood pressure is often related to lifestyle facts such as excessive drinking smoking, eating fatty foods and being overweight.
Living a sedentary lifestyle and not exercising enough can cause your blood pressure to rise.
High blood pressure is a major issue in the UK it affects around 25percent of all UK adults according to the NHS.
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension.
It can be hard to tell if you have the condition as symptoms only appear if your blood pressure gets extremely high.
And Whats The Definition Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts a strain on your heart and blood vessels and makes you more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes.
Normal blood pressure is regarded as being between 120-129 and 80-84 .
The definition of high blood pressure, according to 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines, is anything above 140/90 mmHg. If you measure it in the comfort of your own home, where youre likely to be more relaxed, the limit is slightly lower at 135/85.
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you may be at risk of developing hypertension at some stage in the future unless you take action to bring it under control. This is called prehypertension.
A blood pressure reading of over 180/120 is dangerously high. Doctors call this a hypertensive crisis, and it requires immediate treatment.
Systolic blood pressure, the top number, is more important than diastolic blood pressure in people over 40. Thats because its a better predictor of stroke and heart attack. And only one of the two numbers has to be higher than it should be to count as high blood pressure.
All this can be summarised in a blood pressure chart, like this:
To check your blood pressure against the chart, start from your systolic pressure on the left-hand side, and move your finger to the right until you reach your diastolic pressure. The colour will tell you whether you have normal or abnormal blood pressure.
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Understanding Blood Pressure What Is It
Your blood pressure reading is a measurement of the pressure your blood applies across your artery walls. Your blood pressure changes a little throughout the day when you relax, your blood pressure lowers, and when you move around or feel stress, your blood pressure increases. But high blood pressure over a long term is associated with serious health risks, including heart, brain, and eye damage. Likewise, chronic low blood pressure sometimes comes with health risks. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to manage both high and low blood pressure.
Choosing A Blood Pressure Monitor
If you’re planning to take your blood pressure at home, it’s important to have a reliable blood pressure monitor. The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor, but there are other options.
When selecting a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:
- Fit: To ensure a proper fit, measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
- Number of people: If more than one person will be using the monitor, make sure to choose one that fits everyone.
- Features: Some blood pressure monitors offer extra tech features, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. If you don’t think you’ll benefit from these extras, go ahead and choose one that is efficient, easy to use, and more affordable.
- Budget: High-quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment and that you will be using it daily for several years.
- Other considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant person, or child, you should make sure it is validated for these conditions.
If you need help selecting an at-home device, check out these blood pressure monitors, which were vetted by the Verywell team based on the above criteria.
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