What is high blood pressure?
Here's how to start at-home monitoring:
- Locate a convenient blood pressure machine. You can also purchase one for at-home use ($20-120 at most drug stores).
- Download a free blood pressure monitoring log.
- Check and record your blood pressure on the log regularly. Share the log with your doctor.
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard blood pushes against the walls of your arteries (blood vessels). Over time, high blood pressure begins to damage the blood vessels, heart and kidneys. This can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious health problems. High blood pressure is often called a 'silent killer' because there no signs or symptoms.
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers:
An ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. Many people fall into the 'at risk' category called prehypertension. These people need to make lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure.