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What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is occasional or continued elevation of diastolic and systolic pressures. When you are told your blood pressure, the top number is the systolic pressure which represents the amount of pressure exerted on the blood vessel wall when the heart is contracting. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and this represents the pressure on the blood vessel while the heart is at rest.

The American Heart Association considers normal blood pressure as 120/80. If the top number is between 120 – 139 and / or the bottom number is between 80 – 89 than this is considered ‘prehypertension’. If the top number is above 140 and / or the bottom number is above 90 and it remains this way over time, than you would be diagnosed with Hypertension.

Hypertension frequently does not have symptoms. But, when symptoms do occur, they can include: Dizziness, Headaches (usually pounding or throbbing), palpitations, blurred vision, fatigue, nosebleeds, insomnia, nervousness, chest pain and shortness of breath.