Left to worsen, high blood pressure is a risky health problem, with most people not finding out they have it until they are urgently hospitalized – normally due to a heart attack or of a stroke. Professor Jamie Waterwall, National Head of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Public Health England (PHE) commented on the disease. “High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes in the country,” he said.
“If you’re over 40, getting your free NHS checkup is an easy way to find out your blood pressure as well as your risk for other conditions.”
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can lead to headaches and dizziness.
The medical condition can also cause unexplained nosebleeds.
It can also lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and / or blurred vision.
The best way to check if you have high blood pressure is to measure your blood pressure.
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This can be done at the GP clinic, in some pharmacies and in the comfort of your own home.
Called a sphygmomanometer, a blood pressure monitor can be purchased from BHF.
The cheapest option on their website starts from £ 19.99 with the most expensive being £ 119.99.
It is important to buy a reliable blood pressure monitor to get an accurate reading.
Alternatively, you can buy a blood pressure monitor at large supermarkets or drugstores.
How to read the results
Normal blood pressure is below 140/90 mmHg – showing systolic and diastolic readings.
The systolic number is the first number that tells you how much pressure is exerted when the heart is beating.
Meanwhile, the diastolic number tells you the pressure as the heart relaxes, between beats.
People with heart or circulatory disease, diabetes, or kidney disease have ideal blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg.
For detailed video instructions on how to measure your blood pressure at home, visit the BHF website.
If you already have a blood pressure monitor, the BHF recommends that the device be serviced every two years.
“It needs to be regularly maintained and calibrated to make sure it’s accurate,” the charity said.
“This usually involves sending it back to the manufacturer, who will likely charge a fee,” added the BHF.
If the reading is higher than you would like, lifestyle adjustments might help lower your blood pressure.
This includes exercising regularly – for at least 150 minutes a week – and maintaining a healthy weight.
In addition, it helps to eat a healthy and balanced diet, reduce salt and drink less alcohol.