High blood pressure is a medical problem that affects many adults. It can also affect children, especially as more and more children and adults are becoming overweight. A lot of times there are no symptoms with high blood pressure, so it is important to have your blood pressure checked. Your blood pressure may be high without you knowing it. Children should start having their blood pressure checked at age 3. Adults over 18 should also have their blood pressure checked every so often. Blood pressure is considered high when it is above 140/90.
Sometimes symptoms can include: headache, having to urinate a lot, and blurry vision. Many people have no symptoms. You might be at higher risk for high blood pressure as you get older, if you are overweight or obese, if you are not physically active, if you drink alcohol or smoke, or depending on your ethnicity and family history.
If you have high blood pressure, it is important to see your medical provider regularly for treatment. Treating high blood pressure helps to prevent heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and eye problems. It is important to treat high blood pressure to prevent these long term problems even if you do not have symptoms right now. Treatment for high blood pressure can include diet (reducing your salt intake), exercise, and medications.
Heather Williams, FNP-C