Left to get worse, high blood pressure is a risky health condition, and most people find out they only have it after being in the hospital urgently – usually due to a heart attack or stroke. Professor Jamie Watwall, national leader in cardiovascular disease prevention at Public Health England (PHE), commented on the condition. “High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes in the country,” he said.
“If you’re over 40, a free NHS health checkup is an easy way to find out your blood pressure and the risk of other conditions.”
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can lead to headaches and dizziness.
A medical condition can also cause someone to get unexplained nosebleeds.
This can also lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and / or blurred vision.
The best way to check if you have hypertension is to measure your blood pressure.
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This can be done in the GP̵
Called a sphygmomanometer, a high blood pressure monitor can be purchased from BHF.
The cheapest version of their website starts at £ 19.99 and the most expensive is £ 119.99.
It is important to buy a reliable blood pressure monitor to get accurate readings.
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Alternatively, you can buy a blood pressure monitor in large supermarkets or pharmacies.
How to read the results
Normal blood pressure reading is below 140 / 90mmHg – shows systolic and diastolic reading.
The systolic number is the first number that tells you the pressure exerted when the heart beats.
Meanwhile, the diastolic number tells you the pressure, when the heart relaxes, between beats.
People with heart or blood diseases, diabetes or kidney disease have an ideal blood pressure of less than 130 / 80mmHg.
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, BHF recommends that the device be serviced every two years.
“It needs to be serviced and calibrated regularly to make sure it’s accurate,” the charity said.
“This usually involves sending it back to the manufacturer, who is likely to charge a fee,” added BHF.
If the readings are higher than you would like them to be, then lifestyle adjustments can help reduce your blood pressure readings.
This includes exercising regularly – at least 150 minutes a week – and maintaining a healthy weight.
It is also useful to eat a healthy and balanced diet, reduce salt and drink less alcohol.