Hypertension (high blood pressure) is defined as an elevation of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, either primary or secondary. It is made up of 2 readings; the systolic pressure (the top number) refers to the pressure that the arteries are under when the heart contracts and the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) refers to the pressure the arteries are under when the heart relaxes. Systolic pressure therefore refers to the highest pressure the arteries are exposed to, and the diastolic refers to the lowest pressure to which the arteries are exposed.
Blood pressure is measured in mmHg (millimetres mercury). Below 120 and below 80 mmHg is considered as normal. Between 120 to 129 and less than 80 is considered as elevated. Between 130 to 139 and 80 to 89 is considered as Stage 1 high blood pressure. 140 or higher and 90 or higher is considered Stage 2 high blood pressure. Anything higher than 180 and higher than 120 is a hypertensive crisis, and a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Many people are unaware that they have hypertension and only discover that they have a condition whencomplications develop. This is why a doctor should be monitoring blood pressure. There are however symptoms that patients may present with that are indicative of hypertension. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
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Source: Tibb Health Sciences (Pty) Ltd Representative Training Manual Dr. Grant Nijland (M.Tech.Hom) Copyright© 2015