Most of the time, high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. The best ways to protect yourself are being aware of the risks and making changes that matter.
A few facts to be aware of:
- Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. Often the signs and symptoms are misunderstood.
- High blood pressure develops slowly over time and can be related to many causes.
- High blood pressure cannot be cured. But it can be managed effectively through lifestyle changes and, when needed, medication.
Blood pressure categories
The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are normal, elevated, hypertension stage 1, hypertension stage 2 and hypertensive crisis.
Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the normal range. If your results fall into this category, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
Elevated blood pressure is when readings consistently range from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.