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Understanding Blood Pressure Measurements

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With 1 in 3 adults believed to experience high blood pressure, the importance of understanding the numbers has never been more crucial. If you have prehypertension or have been told by your doctor to monitor your blood pressure readings at home, you will need a solid understanding of what the numbers mean and when you need to take action. Affordable healthcare in Las Vegas can ensure you have the medical support you need to keep your blood pressure within safe limits. Here are some guidelines on how to understand your blood pressure:

The systolic reading is the top number in the measurement you get. It is also always the higher of the two numbers. The systolic pressure measures the arterial pressure when the heart muscle contracts. The diastolic measurement is the bottom number and measures the arterial pressure between heart beats, which is when the heart rests and refills with blood.

A normal blood pressure reading has a systolic reading less than or equal to 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80 or less. People with prehypertension have a systolic reading of between 120 and 139 or a diastolic reading of between 80 and 89 mmHg. High blood pressure stage one has a systolic reading of between 140 and 159 mmHg or a diastolic reading of 90 to 99. High blood pressure stage two has a systolic reading of 160 mmHg or more and a diastolic reading of 100 mmHg or more.

People who have a systolic reading of 180 or more and a diastolic reading of 110 mmHg or more are said to be in a hypertensive crisis. This high blood pressure condition does not develop gradually but comes on very quickly. The only way to establish how to treat the condition is to evaluate how the organs are functioning as soon as possible and how rapidly the blood pressure is increasing. If you do get a reading of 180 or 110 mmHg or more, you should wait a few minutes before taking another reading. If you get the same result, you will need emergency medical treatment.

The high blood pressure reading may also be accompanied by other side effects like shortness of breath, a severe headache, anxiety or nosebleeds. A person with this reading is highly likely to need hospitalization as the condition can cause stroke, memory loss, aortic dissection, damage to the eyes and kidneys, resulting in kidney failure or eclampsia.

Las Vegas medical clinics can find medication to help you keep your blood pressure within safe limits.