High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted against the walls of the arteries as blood flows through them.
Blood pressure is the measure of the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels), which carry the blood throughout the body. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood out to the body and contributes to hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, to stroke, kidney disease, and to the development of heart failure
If a person has high blood pressure it means that the walls of the arteries are receiving too much pressure repeatedly – the pressure needs to be chronically elevated for a diagnosis of hypertension to be confirmed.
Very high blood pressure can cause symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting, mental confusion, vision changes, chest pain, or shortness of breath. If you notice any of these symptoms along with a blood pressure above 180/110, your high blood pressure is considered a hypertensive emergency.
Blood Pressure 220/180
When measuring blood pressure 220 to 180 (even a single result) indicates the presence in the patient of hypertension or symptomatic hypertension. In this case, the purpose of continuous use of medication to control normal levels of blood pressure, treatment should appoint a qualified doctor only after conducting a comprehensive examination of the body and identify the true causes of high blood pressure.
Important information for BP 220/180: If you feel good, but you have a constant mean arterial pressure at the level of 220 over 180 you need to take measures to stabilize blood pressure, as in the case of its further increase there is a risk of hypertensive crisis.
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure. The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure. Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
A blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic) and bottom number (diastolic). The ranges are:
- Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
- Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
- Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
- Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
- High blood pressure in people over age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above
People whose blood pressure is above the normal range should consult their doctor about steps to take to lower it.
Symptoms of high blood pressure
High blood pressure symptoms typically include:
- Headache – usually, this will last for several days.
- Nausea – a sensation of unease and discomfort in the stomach with an urge to vomit.
- Vomiting – less common than just nausea.
- Dizziness – Lightheadedness, unsteadiness, and vertigo.
- Blurred or double vision (diplopia).
- Epistaxis – nosebleeds.
- Palpitations – disagreeable sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart.
- Dyspnea – breathlessness, shortness of breath.
Anybody who experiences these symptoms should see their doctor immediately.