Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, is one of the most common and dangerous ailments among the elderly. If not properly dealt with, hypertension can lead to numerous other issues such as:
- Heart disease
- Artery damage
- Brain damage
- Kidney failure
- Eye damage
- Trouble sleeping
Symptoms of high blood pressure are very difficult to detect, so it is important to check blood pressure regularly.
How does it work?
Blood pressure refers to the strain put on the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. If blood pressure is high, it causes the arteries undue stress leading to other problems mentioned above.
Measuring Blood Pressure
As previously mentioned, the symptoms of high blood pressure often go unnoticed because they are so hard to recognize. For this reason, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly. This can be done by your doctor, or you can do it at home with a blood pressure test kit. The test results are reported using two numbers, one on the top and one on the bottom. The top number, known as your systolic blood pressure, indicates the maximum level your blood pressure attains during a heart beat. Your diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, marks the lowest number your blood pressure dipped to while your heart is at rest between beats.
A typical blood pressure reading is expected to be under 120 over 80. If you notice your reading is slightly higher than this once or twice when you test it, don’t worry too much as long as your blood pressure usually hovers at the normal level. However, if your blood pressure reading is routinely 140 over 90 or above, it is time to consult your physician or health care provider for a proper diagnosis.
Hypertension can be attributed to may factors, including:
- High stress
- Lack of exercise
- Alcohol abuse
- Unhealthy diet (too much salt)
Attaining and Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Once a diagnosis of hypertension has been issued, your physician can help you set up an effective treatment plan. Lifestyle changes are often essential in getting your blood pressure back to normal levels. The changes are likely to involve a healthy diet and regular exercise. The most effective treatment is prevention, so putting a healthy routine in place before problems arrive is your safest bet. Caregivers at Retire-At-Home Toronto can help monitor blood pressure levels and implement a healthy routine to avoid or reduce hypertension, and keep blood pressure at a normal level.