The American Heart Association advises working with a doctor to manage hypertension /high blood pressure to determine if medication or diet and lifestyle changes are required, but what if you don’t know if your blood pressure is considered high?

Why should I worry about my blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. It is created by the heart pumping blood around the body. Long standing high blood pressure can lead to:

  • Hardening and narrowing of the arteries  makes the heart work harder
  • Damage to the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys
  • Heart attack, heart failure, stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Dementia
  • Blindness

Physicians recommend that adults have their blood pressure checked regularly to guard against potential problems later. Here are a few guidelines to follow; however, a doctor’s guidance is your best defense to keep your blood pressure in check.

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your blood pressure is much higher than normal (such as 180/110 or higher).
  • You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms, such as severe headache or blurry vision.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher on two or more occasions.
  • Your blood pressure is usually normal and well controlled, but it goes above the normal range (120/80) on more than one occasion.