What Do Blood Pressure Readings Mean?
Whenever you go to your doctor for a check-up, you are likely to have your blood pressure checked. While many people find the process a bit uncomfortable, a lot can be gauged by your blood pressure reading. It is important that you are familiar with your blood pressure numbers, what they mean, and what to watch out for.
What Are Those Two Numbers?
Blood pressure readings are made up of two measurements: systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the top number, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats or contracts. Diastolic, the bottom number, measures pressure in between when your heart beats. This is when your heart is resting.
Do I Have High Blood Pressure?
Just because you have one or two high readings does not necessarily mean that you have chronically high blood pressure. Your physician will look at your blood pressures over time over the course of your regular visits. Typically, your blood pressure should be less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic for adults over the age of 20. If you are consistently 140/90 or higher, your doctor may prescribe you medication.
When Should I Be Immediately Concerned?
If you take your blood pressure and you receive a reading of 180 systolic or a diastolic reading of 110 or higher, you should recheck in a few minutes. If you still receive the same reading, you need to seek immediate medical assistance. If your blood pressure is high, but not significant enough for a trip to the emergency room, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options.
For more information about blood pressure readings, contact Brookhaven Heart at 631-654-3278 today. We are happy to assist you with maintaining optimal heart health.