Hypertension is another term used to describe high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to:
You are more likely to have high blood pressure as you get older. This is because your blood vessels become stiffer as you age. When that happens, your blood pressure goes up.
If your blood pressure is high, you need to lower it and keep it under control. Your blood pressure reading has 2 numbers. One or both of these numbers can be too high.
If you have had:
Your doctor may want your blood pressure to be even lower. The most commonly used blood pressure targets for people with these medical problems are below 130 to 140/80 mmHg.
The above blood pressure numbers are goals that most experts agree on for most people. Your doctor will consider how these goals apply to you specifically.
Many medicines can help you control your blood pressure. Your doctor will:
Older adults tend to take more medicines and this puts them at greater risk for harmful side effects. One side effect of blood pressure medicine is an increased risk for falls. When treating older adults, blood pressure goals need to be balanced against medicine side effects.
In addition to taking medicine, you can do many things to help control your blood pressure. Some of these include:
Your doctor can help you find programs for losing weight, stopping smoking, and exercising. You can also get a referral to a dietitian from your doctor. The dietitian can help you plan a diet that is healthy for you.
Your blood pressure can be measured at many places, including:
Your doctor may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. Make sure you get a good quality, well-fitting home device. It is best to have one with a cuff for your arm and a digital readout. Practice with your doctor to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly.
It is normal for your blood pressure to be different at different times of the day.
It is usually higher when you are at work. It drops slightly when you are at home. It is usually lowest when you are sleeping.
It is normal for your blood pressure to increase suddenly when you wake up. For people with very high blood pressure, this is when they are most at risk for heart attack and stroke.
Your doctor will give you a physical exam and check your blood pressure often. With your doctor, establish a goal for your blood pressure.
Call your doctor if your blood pressure goes well above your normal range.
Also call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
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