One of the biggest threats faced nowadays is patients suffering from cardiovascular problems which are heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke or chronic kidney disease, arrhythmia, and dementia. It is very much important to be aware of the risks leading to such heart problems. One of the prevalent risk factors is Blood Pressure.
Every individual should be aware of what is average blood pressure as it is linked to a variety of health conditions and hence it is essential to regularly check your blood pressure levels and maintain them within a healthy range. High blood pressure affects more than 30% of the adult population worldwide and to know approximately 234 million Indians suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) in India. Out of that 11.3 % of individuals come between the age of 15 to 49. Even the younger generation is now at risk of developing these issues because of their stressful lives.
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood Pressure is the flow of blood against your artery walls, as it circulates throughout your body, also known as the measurement of the pressure of blood that is exerted on the walls of arteries during various stages of heart activity.
Blood pressure is also known as a silent disease or silent killer when the pressure is higher than normal it does not show any symptoms and turns into a severe medical condition. To prevent such health conditions, one should know how to read the numbers of blood pressure and at what level it is termed as high blood pressure.
High blood pressure also called Hypertension usually develops when there is an increase in the amount of force that blood places on blood vessels as it moves through the body.
Importance of knowing the numbers:
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It consists of two values:
Systolic blood pressure - When your heart beats, it squeezes and pushes blood through your arteries to the rest of your body. This force creates pressure on those blood vessels, and that's your systolic pressure.
Diastolic blood pressure - This is the second value that measures the pressure within the arteries when your arteries rest between beats. It is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.
Therefore, if blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, the systolic pressure is 120 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is 80 mmHg.
Blood pressure Ranges:
Blood Pressure is considered normal and healthy when its systolic pressure is less than 120mmHg and diastolic pressure is less than 80mmHg.
Elevated blood pressure ranges from 120-129 mmHg systolic and less than 80 mmHg diastolic.
The range of systolic is 130-139 mmHg and diastolic is 80-89 is known as Stage 1 hypertension.
When the systolic is 140 or higher and the diastolic is 90 or higher than it is Stage 2 hypertension. Also, when the range is over 180 by over 120 then it may lead to a hypertensive crisis where there is a need to consult the doctor immediately.
Whereas constant high blood pressure reading in most cases may indicate a severe underlying issue that needs to be identified to prevent further complications.
Consequences of high blood pressure include:
Heart attack and heart disease
As high blood pressure damages the arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart which leads to heart attack or heart failure.
A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, the longer it is blocked the greater the damage is, and heart failure is when the heart cannot pump blood and oxygen to other organs.
This happens when high blood pressure damages the arteries around the kidneys and interferes with their ability to effectively filter blood.
Vision loss happens when high blood pressure can strain the vessels in the eyes.
High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the brain to burst or clog more easily leading to stroke.
What happens when you have high blood pressure:
In some cases, over the years the person is unaware that he/she is having high blood pressure as it does not show any symptoms calling it a silent killer.
As said blood pressure goes up when you are likely to feel in the following ways:
A pounding feeling in the chest, neck, or ears, sometimes accompanied by chest pain.
Occasionally double vision
May lead blood to appear in the urine.
How to get the blood pressure checked:
There are many easy-to-use blood pressure monitors at home or in the clinic.
To take the count you need to ensure the following steps are followed:
30 mins before you are checking your blood pressure:
In 5 mins before the blood pressure is taken:
During taking the reading make sure that the cuff is the right size and in the right place.
Keep the cuffed arm on a flat surface as a table.
Sit upright, back straight and feet should be flat on the floor.
You should not talk while the reading is taken.
After 1 min you retake the reading:
Average the readings and consider the third reading.
You should keep a record and consult the doctor in case of hypertension.
Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure of blood that is exerted on the walls of arteries during various stages of heart activity and hypertension is when that pressure is increased more than normal. It can lead to various consequences if neglected so it is very much essential for an individual to monitor their blood pressure and know their numbers. Nowadays it is also very easy to monitor blood pressure at home by using various digital blood pressure monitors.