Hypertension – High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is calculated by the amount of blood the heart pumps and the amount of resistance to that blood flow in a person’s arteries. The more blood that pumps combined with the more resistance there is creates high blood pressure.  Narrow arteries cause more resistance and therefore cause higher blood pressure.

Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure happens over time and can be present for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, however, high blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels and heart.  A person may not even know they have it because high blood pressure can be present without symptoms. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke. However, the good news is, high blood pressure is easily detected.

What Should My Blood Pressure Be?

Blood Pressure Normal Range:

Less than 120 for systolic (upper number)

Less than 80 for diastolic (lower number)

Blood Pressure Elevated Range:

Between 120 and 129 (upper number)

Less than 80 (lower number)

High Blood Pressure Stage 1:

Between 130-139 (upper number)

Between 80-89 (lower number

High Blood Pressure Stage 2:

140 or higher (upper number)

90 or higher (lower number


180 or higher (upper number)

Higher than 120  (lower number)

Are There Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure?

Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.  People who do experience symptoms may have headaches, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds. However, these signs and symptoms aren’t specific and usually don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage.

Hypertension Risk Factors

Risk factors for Hypertension may include:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Not being physically active
  • Using tobacco
  • Too much salt in your diet
  • Too little potassium in your diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Stress
  • Certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes

Importance Of Checking Your Blood Pressure

It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly especially because symptoms may not be present. Public blood pressure machines, such as those found in pharmacies, may provide helpful information about your blood pressure, but have some limitations. The accuracy of these machines depends on several factors, such as a correct cuff size and proper use of the machines.

Sudden Onset Of High Blood Pressure

A sudden onset of high blood pressure may be the symptom of an underlying condition and could include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Thyroid problems
  • Physical defect from birth
  • Medication side effect
  • Birth control pills
  • Cold remedies
  • Decongestants
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Some prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

Risks Of Chronic High Blood Pressure

Complications that can result from chronic Hypertension include:

  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys
  • Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes
  • Trouble with memory or understanding
  • Dementia

Effective Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

Some effective ways to lower high blood pressure include:

  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Reduce sodium in diet
  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates in died
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Orchard at Brookhaven is a senior living community in Atlanta committed to supporting a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition, walking paths, exercise, yoga and meditation will support residents in keeping their blood pressure managed.

Smaller living neighborhoods are designed for connection and relationship opportunities that allow for collaboration and motivation toward good health. Orchard at Brookhaven also provides onsite access to medical practitioners specializing in chronic conditions and functional medicine. Both of these affiliate partners focus on the overall health of a person which includes reducing and managing Hypertension. For more information, schedule a consult today!