High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels (arteries) at higher than normal pressures. You probably have high blood pressure (hypertension) if your blood pressure readings are consistently 140 over 90, or higher, over a number of weeks.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. Sometimes high blood pressure is called hypertension, happens when this force is too high. Health care workers check blood pressure readings the same way for children, teens, and adults. They use a gauge, stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. Uses of this equipment, they measure:
- Systolic Pressure:blood pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood
- Diastolic Pressure:blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats
Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure for adults is defined as a systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. It is normal for blood pressures to change when you sleep, wake up, or are excited or nervous. When you are active, it is normal for your blood pressure to increase. However, once the activity stops, your blood pressure returns to your normal baseline range.
Blood pressure normally rises with age and body size. Newborn babies often have very low blood pressure numbers that are considered normal for babies, while older teens have numbers similar to adults.
Signs and Symptoms of high blood pressure
High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have yours measured. However, a single high reading does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure. Many things can affect your blood pressure through the day, so your doctor will take a number of blood pressure readings to see that it stays high over time.
Occasionally people with very high blood pressure say they experience headaches, but it is best to visit your GP if you are concerned about symptoms.
Two main types of high blood pressure:-
- Primary high blood pressure
- Secondary high blood pressure
Primary high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure tends to develop over years as a person ages. It is also called as essential high blood pressure.
Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. This type usually resolves after the cause is treated or removed.