Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure? (click to close)

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries. You need a certain amount of pressure in your arteries to keep the blood flowing around your body.

Your heart pumps blood around the body through the arteries, by contracting and relaxing. The pressure of blood flowing through the arteries varies at different times in the heartbeat cycle.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms and rarely makes people feel ill. It is sometimes called a ‘silent threat’ because there are usually no symptoms, and it very often goes undiagnosed. If not treated or kept under control it is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

What can I do to help control my blood pressure? (click to close)

The following can all help to control your blood pressure.

  • Be physically active.
  • If you’re overweight, try losing some weight.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Cut down on salt.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Reduce stress.

Your Haven pharmacist can provide you with information and resources to help keep your blood pressure under control.

What can we do for you? (click to close)

Understanding your blood pressure leads to better health control, and helps you prevent health problems before they develop. At Haven Pharmacy, we are committed to providing our patients with the best possible healthcare. Our highly trained pharmacists can quickly and painlessly take your blood pressure, and provide you with on the spot and accurate results.

If you are prescribed tablets by your GP for blood pressure, always take them as prescribed and never stop taking them without telling your GP

How is blood pressure recorded? (click to close)

  • Your blood pressure is written as two numbers. One number records blood pressure when pressure is at its highest as the heart muscle contracts and blood is forced from the heart. This is called the systolic blood pressure.
  • When your heart relaxes between each beat and allows blood flow back to the heart this is called diastolic blood pressure.
  • The normal level of blood pressure is usually 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic).

What’s normal blood pressure for my age? (click to close)

In Ireland over half of all adults over the age of 45 have high blood pressure.About 4 in every 5 men and 2 in every 3 women with high blood pressure are not being treated.

If you are over 30 you should have your blood pressure checked every 5 years. If your blood pressure is borderline high (around 140 over 90) then it should be checked more regularly

What is high blood pressure? (click to close)

High blood pressure develops if the walls of the larger arteries lose their natural elasticity and become rigid and if the smaller blood vessels become narrower.

The higher your blood pressure the higher your risk of health problems. If your blood pressure is 140/90mmHg or above when it is measured ( 140/80mmHg if you are diabetic), you may have high blood pressure. One high reading may not mean you have seriously high blood pressure but your pharmacist will refer you as appropriate. The more readings you have the more accurate your diagnosis of high blood pressure.

Why is high blood pressure harmful? (click to close)

Having high blood pressure greatly increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. If high blood pressure is left untreated for a long time, it can lead to kidney failure and even damage your sight.
Find out more about blood pressure from your local Haven Pharmacist.