Why is high blood pressure dangerous?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against your blood vessels. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it is called hypertension. If it is not controlled, high blood pressure can cause:
- Heart attack
- Kidney problems
- Heart failure
- Eye problems
Most people with high blood pressure feel healthy and don’t have symptoms. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.
How do you get checked for high blood pressure?
Checking your blood pressure is simple. Your provider places a fabric cuff around your upper arm and pumps it full of air. Your provider then listens to your heartbeat while the air lets out of the cuff.Follow these steps to help your provider correctly measure your blood pressure:
- Wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse.
- Empty your bladder.
- For at least 30 minutes before your appointment, don’t smoke, drink caffeine or do any vigorous activity.
- Sit down and relax with your feet on the floor and your back supported for at least 5 minutes before your blood pressure is checked.
- Don’t talk while your blood pressure is being checked.
Here are some questions to ask your provider:
- Is my blood pressure under control?
- How often should I have my blood pressure checked?
- What is a healthy weight for me?
- Is it safe for me to start doing regular physical activity?