Hypertension is also known as a silent killer as it does not show any symptoms initially. It puts you at a higher risk of heart disease. Read here to know when should you check your blood pressure to control this condition at an early stage.
High blood pressure or hypertension can be an outcome unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and other modifiable factors. If left uncontrolled, this condition can put you at a higher risk of heart disease. Timely prevention is one of the effective ways to control the side effects linked with this condition. From making healthier choices to watching out for symptoms, there are several precautions you need to follow. Checking your blood pressure numbers regularly also plays a role. It can help in early diagnosis of hypertension and enables you to take control of the condition. The moment you find your blood pressure numbers are high, you will take all necessary precautions to bring it under control. If you are wondering how often you should check your blood pressure numbers, here’s the answer.
Hypertension: When should you check your blood pressure?
Dr. Gaurangi Shah explains, “It is advised that children should get blood pressure checked at least once a year while once a month is the recommendation for adults. Those consuming antihypertensive medicine can check their blood pressure once a week. But those who have just started blood pressure medicine or have been diagnosed with pre-hypertension should check their BP more frequently that is twice a day for 1 to 3 months or till blood pressure is completely under control.”
Everyone would like to have healthy blood pressure. But what exactly does that mean?
When your doctor takes your blood pressure, it’s expressed as a measurement with two numbers, with one number on top (systolic) and one on the bottom (diastolic), like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure.
The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
What’s a normal reading?
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show a top number (systolic pressure) that’s between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) that’s between 60 and less than 80. The American Heart Association (AHA) considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
Blood pressure readings are expressed in millimeters of mercury. This unit is abbreviated as mm Hg. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.
If you’re in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight to help prevent hypertension from developing. Regular exercise and healthy eating can also help. You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if hypertension runs in your family.
However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have high blood pressure. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your numbers over a period of time.
Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether it’s too high. You may need to start taking medications if your blood pressure doesn’t improve after one month of following a healthy lifestyle, especially if you’re already at high risk for heart disease. If you’re at lower risk, your doctor may want to follow up in three to six months after you’ve adopted more healthy habits.
Even if you have healthy numbers, you should take preventive measures to keep your blood pressure in the normal range. This can help you lower your risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
As you age, prevention becomes even more important. Systolic pressure tends to creep up once you’re older than 50, and it’s far more importantTrusted Source in predicting the risk of coronary heart disease and other conditions. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, may also play a role. Talk to your doctor about how you can manage your overall health to help prevent the onset of hypertension.