Checking your blood pressure can prevent an emergency

May is National Blood Pressure Month. Sun Valley Senior Care Specialists Can Help You Understand Important Facts About Keeping Yours From Getting Too High

Pegasus senior care in Sun Valley can help you keep your blood pressure within normal ranges. We are knowledgeable about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this and related conditions.

Your heart pumps hard enough to push blood through your arteries. The fresh blood provides nourishment to your cells. It then returns to your lungs and heart via your veins.

The movement of fresh blood from the heart and depleted blood returning requires pressure. That’s your blood pressure.

Blood pressure is determined by two measurements. The first is systolic, which is the pressure in your arteries when the heart beats. The second is diastolic, which is the pressure between beats.

The measurement compares the pressure inside the artery to the surrounding atmospheric pressure. For this purpose, the atmospheric pressure is regarded as zero. The units of measurement are millimeters (mm) and mercury (Hg).

MmHg is how many millimeters the pressure moves mercury. Your blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, often without the mmHg designation. Systolic is expressed first and diastolic second, often as systolic over diastolic.

Health practitioners use the following standards:

  • Low blood pressure: 90 or lower over 60 or lower
  • Normal blood pressure: 120 over 80
  • At-risk blood pressure: 120-129 over 80-89
  • High blood pressure: 130 or higher over 90 or higher

High blood pressure is known as hypertension; low blood pressure is hypotension.

Although hypertension is more common and more recognized, hypotension is potentially as serious. Sudden hypotension, such as from uncontrolled bleeding, can be life-threatening. More often, hypotension causes dizziness, weakness, or fainting.

Hypotension is one symptom of shock. It’s also a symptom of dehydration. Even though hypotension is usually temporary, it can cause you to fall and suffer an injury.

Hypertension Isn’t Picky About Its Victims

Hypertension is often thought of as an adult condition, but youngsters are also victims. Even newborns can experience high blood pressure. Pediatricians now routinely check the blood pressure of children starting at age three.

Both systolic and diastolic numbers are important. However, physicians give more significance to the systolic number of individuals more than 60 years old. Although their diastolic reading may be normal, a high systolic number justifies a hypertension diagnosis.

Your Sun Valley home health care professional will routinely check your blood pressure. Many people experience “white jacket syndrome.” That refers being so stressed when you see a doctor that your blood pressure spikes.

Having it checked at home is relaxing and yields a more accurate reading. The time of day and your activity prior checking also affects the reading. Our senior care experts are aware of those factors and take them into account.

If you feel fine, why bother checking? Because high blood pressure is one of those sneaky conditions that often have no symptoms until too late. That’s why it’s also called the “silent killer.”

Individuals with uncontrolled hypertension, which is 180 over 110, may experience symptoms. They may have difficulty breathing or experience heart palpitations. These signal an emergency and immediate medical attention is necessary.

Statistics indicate that approximately one in three adults have high blood pressure. You don’t have control over risk factors such as age, race, or your sex. High blood pressure can result from certain underlying medical conditions.

Among others, these include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Congential defects in your blood vessels
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Tumors, particularly involving your adrenal glands

OTC drugs such as decongestants, pain relievers, and cold remedies, as well as some prescription drugs, can lead to hypertension.

Not only can your medical condition put you at risk for high blood pressure, but the opposite is also true. That is, high blood pressure, especially if undiagnosed, causes medical issues. Untreated hypertension puts you at risk for:

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure or attack
  • Stroke

There’s evidence also of a relationship between dementia and hypertension.

Hypertension Is Treatable

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding illegal substances such as cocaine
  • Limiting alcohol abuse
  • Following a healthy diet
  • Losing weight if you need to

Your Pegasus health care provider can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Perhaps you have done all you can to improve your lifestyle habits, and your blood pressure is still high. Then your doctor may prescribe medication. The kind and dosage of medication depend on many factors, such as other health conditions.

Each medication works differently. Your doctor may have to experiment with several to get the most effective treatment. You may have to take two kinds together.

Pegasus Home Health Care Can Help You Cope

All this can seem complicated and overwhelming. Sun Valley senior caregivers will help you sort it all out.

Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We have consistently provided quality care to our clients since 1994. Our high ethical and clinical standards have made us an industry leader.

Our team of professionals is dedicated to keeping you independent. Part of independence is control of your blood pressure. We are here to help you achieve the best numbers possible.