What Is Blood Pressure – And What’s Normal?
Blood pressure is a measure of how strong the pressure is when the blood flows through your arteries. It shouldn’t be too strong, or too low, either – there’s a happy medium. You probably know the perfect reading for healthy people – 120 (systolic blood pressure) over 80 (diastolic blood pressure). Technically, it’s written as 120/80 mmHg.
That number is supposed to be even lower in most cases where the patient has suffered previous health conditions such as a stroke or heart problem. Even kidney issues can result in your need for even lower blood pressure readings.
What happens when your blood pressure is off is that those numbers begin to change – sometimes by a little, other times by a lot. Once you get to the 140/90 range, your doctor will diagnose you as having high blood pressure and urge you to make changes.
There’s a range in between 120/80 and 140/90 that’s known as pre-hypertension. That just means you’re teetering dangerously close to having full-blown high blood pressure.
What Causes Changes In Blood Pressure Readings?
Your blood pressure can fluctuate to some degree, even when you just walk into the doctor’s office if you’re nervous. But it won’t change too much unless you’ve been suffering some varying health conditions.
As you get older, your blood pressure might naturally begin to increase. Your blood vessels aren’t as flexible when you’re older – they tend to become more rigid.