FAQs About High Blood Pressure

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With almost one billion people affected by high blood pressure worldwide, it’s one of the world’s most common health conditions. As such, there are many frequently asked questions about prehypertension and high blood pressure.

In this guide, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about high blood pressure, prehypertension and related health issues. If you have a question about high blood pressure, scroll down to see if more information is available.

Why does high blood pressure occur?

A wide variety of factors can contribute to high blood pressure. Although there’s no known direct cause in many people, factors such as your lifestyle – particularly your activity level – age, weight and diet can have an impact on high blood pressure.

Other factors that contribute to high blood pressure include your ethnicity. People of African and South Asian descent have higher rates of high blood pressure, either due to genetic factors or diet.

How can I check my blood pressure?

Checking your blood pressure is easy. Next time you visit your doctor, ask to have your blood pressure checked. They will be able to perform a quick test to check if you have normal blood pressure, prehypertension or high blood pressure.

If you have prehypertension or high blood pressure, you may need to check your blood pressure level on a frequent basis. This can be performed at home using an automatic or manual blood pressure checking device.

What is normal blood pressure?

Everyone’s blood pressure is different, but there are established ranges of what is considered normal and what is unhealthy. Normal blood pressure means systolic blood pressure less than 120 mmHg and diastolic pressure less than 80 mmHg.

What is high blood pressure?

There are several different levels of blood pressure above what is considered to be normal, not all of which are classed as clinical high blood pressure. Blood pressure levels for prehypertension and hypertension are as follows:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg indicates prehypertension.
  • Systolic blood pressure of 140-159 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure of 90-99 mmHg indicates Stage 1 high blood pressure
  • Systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or more or diastolic blood pressure of 100 mmHg or more indicates Stage 2 high blood pressure.

Does blood pressure change with age?

Older people are more likely to have high blood pressure than younger people. This is because of a variety of health factors. Because older people typically have higher blood pressure, their “normal” blood pressure reading is different.

People aged 60 and over need to have a systolic blood pressure level of 150 mmHg or more and a diastolic blood pressure level of 90 or more to qualify as having high blood pressure.

Is high blood pressure unhealthy or dangerous?

A large variety of health issues, many of which are very serious, correlate closely to higher-than-normal blood pressure levels. People with high blood pressure have a higher chance of developing heart disease, atherosclerosis, eye disease or stroke.

Do I suffer from high blood pressure?

If you think you may suffer from high blood pressure, speak to your doctor and have them check your blood pressure as soon as possible. Prehypertension can be treated with lifestyle and diet changes, allowing you to improve your health.

Can high blood pressure be lowered?

If you have high blood pressure, you can lower it using a variety of methods. Some of the most common and successful treatments for high blood pressure involve making changes to your diet, lifestyle and health habits.

Ending negative habits such as cigarette smoking and high-fat dieting can result in lower blood pressure. Frequent exercise, reduced alcohol consumption and a focus on eating healthy food can further lower your blood pressure levels.

Is blood pressure medication effective?

A wide range of drugs are available to lower blood pressure, all of which should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor. Speak to your doctor to learn which drugs can help you lower your blood pressure in combination with lifestyle changes.

It’s also important to discuss any medications that you’re currently taking with your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Cold medicines that contain ephedrine could result in a spike in your blood pressure that interacts with other medication.