High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
Around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many will not realise it.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
Risks of high blood pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Aortic aneurysms
- Kidney disease
- Vascular dementia
If you have high blood pressure, reducing it even a small amount can help lower your risk of these health conditions.
Check your blood pressure
The only way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years.
Getting this done is easy and could save your life.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At your GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of your NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces
You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.
Causes of High Blood pressure
It's not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but certain things can increase your risk.
You're at an increased risk of high blood pressure if you:
- Over the age of 65
- Of African or Caribbean descent
- Have a relative with high blood pressure
- Eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit and vegetables
- Do not do enough exercise
- Drink too much alcohol or coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
- Do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
Making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it's already high.
Our goal is to help you to take control of your high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure monitoring machines are available to buy in many local shops. Prices now start from as little as £15.00. Many of our patients have purchased their own machines and then provide us with their blood pressure measurements. Should you purchase your own machine we can provide a standardised form for your use to record all readings.
To download or view the form click here - Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Form
Please note, if you have been asked to complete home blood pressure readings please can all results either be emailed in on enquiriesatalbany.L83034@nhs.net or you can drop your readings into the surgery by posting the results through the letter box on the left hand side of our main entrance.