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The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to all parts of your body veins are the blood vessels that carry your blood back to your heart.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually the systolic number comes before or above the diastolic number.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. So the only way to find out if you have it is to get regular blood pressure checks from your health care provider. Your provider will use a gauge, a stethoscope or electronic sensor, and a blood pressure cuff. He or she will take two or more readings at separate appointments before making a diagnosis. For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and sex.
When your blood pressure stays high over time, it causes the heart to pump harder and work overtime, possibly leading to serious health problems such as heart attack , stroke , heart failure , and kidney failure. Treatments for high blood pressure include heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicines.
You will work with your provider to come up with a treatment plan. It may include only the lifestyle changes. These changes, such as heart-healthy eating and exercise, can be very effective.
But sometimes the changes do not control or lower your high blood pressure. Then you may need to take medicine. There are different types of blood pressure medicines.
Some people need to take more than one type. If your high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or medicine, treating that condition or stopping the medicine may lower your blood pressure. See, Play and Learn Videos and Tutorials.
Resources Find an Expert. What is blood pressure? How is high blood pressure diagnosed? Blood Pressure Category Systolic Blood Pressure Diastolic Blood Pressure Normal Less than and Less than 80 High Blood Pressure no other heart risk factors or higher or 90 or higher High Blood Pressure with other heart risk factors, according to some providers or higher or 80 or higher Dangerously high blood pressure - seek medical care right away or higher and or higher For children and teens, the health care provider compares the blood pressure reading to what is normal for other kids who are the same age, height, and sex.
What are the different types of high blood pressure? There are two main types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary high blood pressure. Primary, or essential, high blood pressure is the most common type of high blood pressure. For most people who get this kind of blood pressure, it develops over time as you get older. Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines. It usually gets better after you treat that condition or stop taking the medicines that are causing it.
Why do I need to worry about high blood pressure? What are the treatments for high blood pressure? Start Here. American Heart Association. Diagnosis and Tests. Prevention and Risk Factors. Treatments and Therapies. Living With. Related Issues. Videos and Tutorials. Statistics and Research. Clinical Trials. Article: Impact of blood pressure on the outcomes of inpatients with Subarachnoid Article: Comparison of the antihypertensive efficacy of morning and bedtime dosing on High Blood Pressure -- see more articles.
Find an Expert. Older Adults. Patient Handouts.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood as it flows through the arteries in your body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries. As the blood flows, it puts pressure on your artery walls. This is called blood pressure.
Back to Health A to Z. High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. Blood pressure is recorded with 2 numbers. The systolic pressure higher number is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. Everyone's blood pressure will be slightly different. What's considered low or high for you may be normal for someone else. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
High blood pressure, or hypertension , is when the force of the blood pushing on the blood vessel walls is too high. When someone has high blood pressure:. After a while, high blood pressure can damage the heart, brain , kidneys , and eyes. Finding and treating high blood pressure early can help kids be healthy. Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood.