Blood Pressure

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood in your arteries (blood vessels) and is sometimes known as hypertension. If you have high blood pressure, over the years it may have a damaging effect to arteries and put a strain on your heart. We are all becoming increasingly aware of the risks high blood pressure can pose to our health in later life, such as heart attacks, kidney damage and strokes.In general, the higher your blood pressure, the greater the risk to your health.

Blood pressure is measured by taking two readings, the first is taken as the heart pushes out blood and is known as systolic, this is the higher reading. The second reading is when the heart is resting known as diastolic, this is the lower reading. Blood pressure is measured as millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

High blood pressure is when the systolic reading is higher than 140mmHg or where the diastolic pressure is greater than 90mmHg. However, if you have type 2 Diabetes your systolic reading should be 140mmHg or less and your diastolic reading should be 80mmHg or less.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can affect anyone. However there are some groups of people who are more likely to suffer from it, such as:

  • A family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack;
  • Diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease.
  • Overweight, are physically inactive, or smoke.
  • Age – at least half of all people over the age of 75 have high blood pressure.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure?

Although high blood pressure can cause headaches, dizziness and problems with vision, the majority of people suffer no symptoms at all.

How Can I Check My Pressure?

If you want to find out what your blood pressure is you can ask your Doctor, or you can ask your pharmacist. At Brown’s Pharmacies, we offer FREE blood pressure monitoring. Contact your nearest Brown’s Pharmacy for more information.

Brown’s Pharmacy’s Top Tips For Reducing Blood Pressure

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet that is low in salt;
  • Don’t smoke;
  • Lose weight if you are overweight;
  • Drink alcohol in moderation;
  • Regular physical activity;
  • Reduce your stress.