Are you at risk?
What are the signs and symptoms?
Several factors that are beyond your control can increase your risk for high blood pressure. These include your age, sex, and race or ethnicity. But you can work to reduce your risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and being physically active.
High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, so many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to visit your doctor regularly. Be sure to talk with your doctor about having your blood pressure checked.
How is high blood pressure diagnosed?
Your doctor measures your blood pressure by wrapping an inflatable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope while releasing air from the cuff. The gauge measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats (systolic) and when it rests (diastolic).
How is it treated?
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat it. Lifestyle changes, such as the ones listed below, can be just as important as taking medicines. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to reduce your risk for high blood pressure.
Can high blood pressure be prevented?
You can take several steps to maintain normal blood pressure levels:
Get your blood pressure checked regularly.