Story by: Norton Healthcare on January 25, 2019
High blood pressure puts extra strain on the heart and arteries. Years of untreated high blood pressure and the strain it puts on artery walls creates places for cholesterol to build up and form hardened patches of plaque.
If the plaque ruptures, bits and pieces enter the bloodstream, where they can form blood clots.
High blood pressure rarely shows symptoms. Checking your numbers regularly is critical to avoiding long-term complications such as heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, impaired vision and kidney disease.
Life-threatening conditions caused by high blood pressure include:
While a range of blood pressure numbers are considered normal, each person’s health is unique.
“We know as cardiologists that a variety of factors can contribute to a variance in blood pressure numbers. What may be considered ‘normal’ or in a good range for one person may be high or elevated for another,” said Joseph A. Lash, M.D., cardiologist with Norton Heart Specialists and medical director for Norton Heart & Vascular Institute. “One thing is for certain: We want to see everyone’s blood pressure below 140/90. Anything over this figure, regardless of the reason, needs to be evaluated by a physician.”
Blood pressure is a health indicator that can vary based on factors including age, diet, stress and even time of day you reading is taken, so it can vary over time. Individuals may also experience high blood pressure even when they are physically fit or meeting other healthy living standards. Blood pressure that is too low also can be a sign of an issue.
Knowing your blood pressure numbers through periodic checks is good practice for every adult and a proactive way to manage your health and reduce risk. This easy and painless reading may be the first sign that it’s time to talk your physician.
Knowing your blood pressure numbers can help you and your provider work together to keep you healthy.
Hypertension stage 1
Hypertension stage 2
Higher than 180
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