Blood pressure is the power of the blood that it exerts on the walls of the arteries as it flows through. When the doctor measures the blood pressure, the results are given in two digits. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by the contraction of the heart and the discharge of blood. When veins relax and fill with blood this is called diastolic blood pressure.
Blood pressure readings are generally reported as systolic blood pressure against diastolic blood pressure, for example, 138/72. Normal blood pressure in adults is defined as systolic blood pressure below 120 and diastolic blood pressure below 80. It is defined as 120/80. The situation in which blood pressure is below the normal range is called hypotension, and pressure that is consistently high is termed as hypertension.
Recently the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have changed the definition of high blood pressure or hypertension for most people. Hypertension is usually defined as 130 or higher for the first number or 80 or more for the second number (previously 140/90). However, older people who decide to initiate the treatment of hypertension, including other health problems and overall physical condition, have important reasons. If your blood pressure exceeds 130/80, your doctor will assess your condition to determine what treatment is needed to balance the risks and benefits of your situation.
What if Blood Pressure is High or Low?
For the elderly, the first digit (contraction) is often 130 or more, but the number of seconds (diastole) is less than 80. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension, due to the rigidity of the main arteries associated with age. It is the most common form of hypertension in the elderly and can lead to serious health problems (stroke, heart disease, vision problems, and kidney failure) as well as a lack of air during light, dizziness, while physical activity becomes too fast and falls. If your doctor determines that your systolic pressure exceeds your normal age, ask how you can reduce it.
What happens if my blood pressure is low? If your blood pressure is below 90/60, you have low blood pressure or low blood pressure. You may feel dizzy, weak, dizzy or even unconscious. Low blood pressure may be due to lack of fluid (dehydration), loss of blood, some diseases or excessive medication.