High blood pressure often does not cause any signs of illness that you can see or feel.
The only way to know if you have high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is to have your blood pressure tested. Understanding your results is key to controlling high blood pressure.
Your total blood pressure reading is determined by measuring your systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Systolic blood pressure, the top number, measures the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries each time it beats. Diastolic blood pressure, the bottom number, measures the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries in between beats.
This blood pressure chart can help you figure out if your blood pressure is at a healthy level or if you’ll need to take some steps to improve your numbers.
What Should Blood Pressure be According to Age?
|1 – 2||80/34 – 120/75||83/38 – 117/76|
Controlling your blood pressure
If your blood pressure is found to be too high or too low, your GP or the healthcare professional performing the test can advise you about ways to control it.
This may involve:
- adopting a healthy, balanced diet and restricting your salt intake
- getting regular exercise
- cutting down on alcohol
- losing weight
- stopping smoking
- taking medication, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or calcium channel blockers
In some cases, you may be referred to a doctor such as a cardiologist (heart specialist) to discuss treatment options.