Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
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.
Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Many people who have high blood pressure dont even show any signs or symptoms. Mayo Clinic explains that this can happen even when the blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. This is why it can be easy for it to go undetected.
Some people may experience headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. That said, these symptoms dont usually occur until it has reached a severe or life-threatening stage. This is why having your blood pressure taken regularly is important. Mayo Clinic recommends at least every two years after age 18.
Syda Productions / Shutterstock
Recommended Reading: Bloodpressure Treatment
Focus On What You Can Control
Certain risk factors for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease cant be changed. But for the most part, heart health is within your control. It starts with making small lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact and sticking with those changes for the long term.
A strong relationship with your primary care doctor and larger healthcare team can also help guide you through activities such as smoking cessation, starting an exercise routine, following a heart-healthy diet and reducing stress.
And remember that Teladoc is available 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. to help you manage your and your familys non-urgent medical needs. Download our convenient app to your phone or tablet now.
Blood Pressure After Exercise
Depending on your resting blood pressure, your blood pressure may be higher than 120/80 after exercise. This idea sometimes confuses people who are being treated for hypertension , especially because exercise is recommended as a way to lower blood pressure.
It is true that getting regular exercise can help you get your blood pressure into a healthy range. But this is a long-term effect of exercise, not an immediate effect.
Physical activity often increases blood pressure. This is a natural result of autoregulation in response to increased blood demand from the muscles.
In order to meet the increased blood demand, the heart has to pump faster and harder, pushing a larger volume of blood into the fixed space of the blood vessels. Because arteries cannot expand very much to accommodate this extra blood, the blood pressure will temporarily rise.
Recommended Reading: High Blood Pressure And Chf
How To Treat High Blood Pressure
If your doctor determines you do have high blood pressure they may recommend that you make some lifestyle changes. These changes are the same steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure like exercising, eating a healthy diet, and controlling your weight.
In some cases, lifestyle changes arent enough. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend medication to help lower your blood pressure. Speak with your doctor to have your blood pressure checked and to find out more ways to prevent high blood pressure from happening.
Whats Considered Elevated Blood Pressure
Blood pressure numbers that are higher than 120/80 mm Hg are a warning sign. It means you need to pay attention to your blood pressure and focus on heart-healthy habits.
Although these numbers arent technically considered high blood pressure, youve moved out of the normal range. Elevated blood pressure may turn into high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Elevated blood pressure
When your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129mm Hgand your diastolic pressure is less than 80mm Hg, it means you have elevated blood pressure.
No medications are necessary for elevated blood pressure. But your doctor may talk with you about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight.
You may receive a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if:
- your systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or
- your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 mm Hg
However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have stage 1 hypertension. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your blood pressure numbers over a period of time.
Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether its too high.
Stage 1 hypertension
If your systolic blood pressure is 130 to 139 mm Hgor your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89 mm Hg, its considered stage 1 hypertension.
Also Check: Can Mild Pulmonary Hypertension Be Reversed
How To Prevent High Blood Pressure
The good news is there are several things you can start doing now to prevent high blood pressure. This includes eating a healthy diet rich in foods that are good for your heart. Some of these foods include fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens, berries, oats, and more!
Other ways to help prevent high blood pressure include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, watching your salt intake, quitting smoking, reducing stress, and consuming alcohol in moderation.
Your Blood Pressure Numbers And What They Mean
Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Don’t Miss: Prevention Of Low Blood Pressure
What Is Normal Blood Pressure For Women
Did you know high blood pressure is common among women? Especially for women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In fact, women who have gone through menopause are at an even greater risk.
Health Harvard explains, By the time they reach their 60s and 70s, 70% of women have high blood pressure. After age 75, that figure rises to nearly 80%, according to the CDC. This is why prevention is so important! Here are the normal blood pressure readings for women by age:
- Age 18-29
- Age 40-59
- Age 60+
Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure
Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
Read Also: High Blood Pressure Side Effects In Men
When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure For Kids
If a child has high blood pressure and is younger than 6-years old, the cause is usually related to a medical condition. This could be a heart defect, kidney disease, genetic condition, or hormonal disorders. If a child is over the age of 6 and develops high blood pressure, the cause is likely due to excess weight, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise.
According to this blood pressure chart, here is what is considered normal blood pressure for kids:
- New born: systolic , diastolic
- Infant: systolic, diastolic
- Toddler: systolic, diastolic
- Preschooler: systolic, diastolic
- School-Aged: systolicChild , diastolic
Recommended Reading: Can Claritin D Cause High Blood Pressure
Get With The Guidelines
In 2017, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health organizations published revised guidelines for blood pressure.
They were updated “because research suggested that you can have complications from high blood pressure at lower levels than previously thought,” says Laura Andromalos, RD, CDE, nutrition program manager at Northwest Weight and Wellness Center in Everett, Washington, and a certified diabetes educator coach in the telehealth setting for Cecelia Health. “Previously, adults over 65 years old were considered to have high blood pressure at levels over 150/80 mmHg.”
We now know that the ideal of 120/80 lowers the risks for both heart attacks and strokes, according to the American Heart Association. However, each person is unique, so at every age, it’s important to work with your doctor to be sure your numbers fall within a range that is ideal for you and your overall health, Dr. Vaishnava says.
Study Finds Many Young People Have High Blood Pressure
CDC analyzed data from more than 12,000 participants ages 12 to 19 who responded to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2016. CDC used these data to find out how the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guideline affects hypertension trends in youth over time.
Using the new guidelines criteria, CDC found that more than 1 in 7 U.S. youth ages 12 to 19 had high blood pressure or elevated blood pressure during 2013 to 2016.
Ask your doctor to measure your childs blood pressure starting at age 3.
Key findings from the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report include:
Read the 2017 AAP Clinical Practice Guidelineexternal icon for Screening and Management of High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.
Listen to a CDC podcast about hypertension among youth.
An estimated 1.3 million youth ages 12 to 19 would have high blood pressure according to the new guidelines, or about 1 in 25 children. In a classroom of 30 youth, 1 person would have hypertension, and about 3 more would have elevated blood pressure.
Recommended Reading: Symptom Of High Blood Pressure
Normal Blood Pressure For Men
Men are recommended to have an average normal blood pressure of 120/80 however, as we have noted, there are varying factors to consider when determining what works for each person. What is normal for a man in his 30s is not deemed a normal reading for a man in his 60s.
The following are the average blood pressures and the corresponding lows and highs for men from ages 15 to 64 years.
What Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is the force that blood applies to the walls of arteries as it’s pumped throughout the body.
“Your arteries are built to withstand some pressure, but there’s a limit to what they can handle,” says Dr. Nasir.
This is why blood pressure is measured and segmented based on how it affects our health. The four blood pressure categories are:
- Normal blood pressure: Lower than 120/80 mmHg
- Elevated blood pressure: Between 120-129/80 mmHg
- High blood pressure, stage 1: Between 130-139/80-90 mmHg
- High blood pressure, stage 2: 140/90 mmHg or higher
Only normal blood pressure is considered healthy. Having elevated or high blood pressure damages your heart and arteries by:
- Forcing your heart to pump harder. Over time, this causes heart muscle to thicken, making it harder for the heart to fill with and pump blood.
- Narrowing and hardening your arteries. This can limit the normal flow of blood.
Recommended Reading: Low Blood Pressure Cause Heart Attack
How To Properly Measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure should be measured in a resting state, with the arm positioned roughly at the same height as the heart. To ensure reliable values, two measurements should be taken over a span of five minutes and then the average of the two readings calculated. Because blood pressure fluctuates over the course of the day, it should always be measured at the same time of day.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
Recommended Reading: Can Apple Watch Check Your Blood Pressure
What Do The Numbers Mean
When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:
- Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
- Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:
- a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
- a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg
The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
If youre in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, its important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and moderate weight to help prevent high blood pressure from developing.
You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.
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.
You May Like: What Animal Has The Highest Blood Pressure
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
The only way you can know for sure if you have high blood pressure is by having a nurse or doctor measure it. Monitoring your blood pressure at home also helps keep your blood pressure in check. Most often, high blood pressure is “silent,” meaning it has no other signs to warn you, according to the CDC.
What Is Normal Blood Pressure
For years we have been told that a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 however, more and more doctors have now lowered these numbers to 115/75. Blood pressure is different for everyone as many factors can have an effect on the numbers.
Our blood pressure refers to the amount of force behind the blood as it hits the arterial walls. As the heart pumps the blood, an ideal pressure sees the blood push against the walls that are flexible enough to expand and retract easily. Over time, our age, diet, and physical activity play a role on the elasticity of our blood vessels. With a loss of flexibility due to hardening of the walls, the heart needs to work harder to push the blood.
These factors determine the blood pressure numbers. The systolic number is the top number, and it indicates the pressure as the heart beats or pushes the blood throughout the body. The diastolic number is the bottom number, and refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. During this time, the heart receives oxygen as it fills with blood.
Recommended Reading: Claritin High Blood Pressure