Although high blood pressure does not come with obvious symptoms, if left untreated, it can cause significant damage to your circulatory system and contribute to future heart attack, stroke, or other health threats. According to the American Heart Association, about 85 million Americans, or 1 out of 3 adults over age 20, have high blood pressure, and nearly 1 of 6 who have it don’t even know. The best way to diagnose is to have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare provider at a MyCare Express walk-in clinic using a pressure cuff.
What do the Numbers Mean?
When a blood pressure measurement is done, the reading provides two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure (the top number) – this number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during a heartbeat.
- Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) – this number indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during the resting period between a heartbeat
- Normal: Systolic less than 120 and Diastolic less than 80
- Prehypertension: Systolic 120-139 or Diastolic 80-89
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1: Systolic 140-159 or Diastolic 90-99
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2: Systolic 160 or higher or Diastolic 100 or higher
- Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency Care Needed): Systolic higher than 180 or Diastolic higher than 110
Depending on your numbers, you will fall into one of the following categories:
If you fall within the Normal category, you should only require screening during regular healthcare visits at least once every two years. If it reads higher than normal, you may need several readings over time and possibly may need to monitor at home. A single high reading does not necessarily mean a diagnosis of high blood pressure, as it can be influenced by things like nervousness and anxiety within the moment, but if it is ongoing and you are diagnosed, a healthcare provider at MyCare Express Clinic will help guide you through monitoring, lifestyle changes, and prescription medication if necessary.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure develops slowly over time, and with no obvious symptoms, can be an issue that goes untreated for too long if not routinely monitored. Many factors contribute to high blood pressure. Unfortunately, some may be out of your control, such as:
- Family history
- Lack of physical activity
- An unhealthy diet, especially with high sodium
- Being overweight or obese
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Smoking and tobacco use
Other factors, however, are directly related to how you live and are easy to change to help lower your risk such as:
Sometimes, high blood pressure can be caused by a preexisting medical condition, such as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), certain heart defects, kidney disorders, and sleep apnea. In these cases, if the preexisting condition is resolved, most of the time the high blood pressure will return to normal, as well.
High Blood Pressure Risks
If you have high blood pressure that is going untreated, you are at higher risk of:
If it has been a while since you have had your blood pressure checked, or you think you may be at risk, visit us at a MyCare Express Clinic urgent care today. No appointment is necessary
Back to Services