Blood pressure is actually the pressure of the blood circulating through the body against the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is not constant at all times. It depends on many factors and changes as these factors change. Position of our body affects our blood pressure, so it is not the same when a person stands, sits or lays down. Physical activity at the moment of blood pressure reading and our emotional condition also change blood pressure. Our blood pressure is also significantly lower while we sleep than when we are completely awake and active.
Reading Blood Pressure – What is Normal?
Instrument used to measure blood pressure is known as sphygmomanometer. It uses a column of mercury to show your blood pressure. After measuring blood pressure you will be told two numbers, one will be your systolic and other your diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is measured when your heart pumps the blood and this is almost always bigger number. Other figure will be your diastolic blood pressure, measured while your heart is at rest.
Healthy adults usually have blood pressure somewhere around 120/80 mm Hg. This means that the person’s systolic pressure is 120 and diastolic pressure 80 mm Hg. As normal blood pressure for adults, doctors consider all readings under 120/80 mm Hg. Keep in mind that healthy readings of blood pressure for children and teenagers may be somewhat different than these values.
Blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 mm Hg is known as high normal blood pressure. All readings of blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg are considered to be high blood pressure and these patients are diagnosed with hypertension. Blood pressure of 180/110 or more than this is known as very high blood pressure and this is also called hypertension.
Patients diagnosed with high blood pressure should consult their doctor as soon as possible. You mustn’t take hypertension lightly, for this condition is known to lead to serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke.
Doctors may prescribe certain medications to lower your blood pressure. Many patients need to change their diet, eat healthier and avoid sodium (salt) in order to lower their blood pressure. Proper physical activity and regular checkups at the doctors are also necessary to manage hypertension.
You should know that there are no specific symptoms of high blood pressure. The only way to diagnose this medical condition is to get your blood pressure reading and follow your doctors recommendations.