What Your Blood Pressure Says About Your Cardiac Risk

For the most part, everyone knows and understands that high blood pressure is bad. But what exactly does the term “blood pressure” mean, and how high is high?

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

The sound you hear when your heart beats is created when it first contracts to push the blood out and into the arteries, and then, when it rests, drawing more blood back into its chambers. The pressure inside your arteries during those two separate moments is what determines your two blood pressure numbers. 

When your doctor or nurse says, “120 over 80,” the top number, in this case 120, is your systolic pressure. That’s the pressure when the heart forces another shot of blood into the bloodstream, so it’s naturally higher. 

The bottom number, 80, is the pressure in the arteries when your heart relaxes. That’s your diastolic number.

What High Blood Pressure Readings Look Like

These numbers will fluctuate under the influence of stress, exercise, and even posture, but under normal circumstances your systolic number should be less than 120, and your diastolic number should be under 80. 

The higher those numbers are, the more serious a problem it can be. 

For instance, 140 over 90 signal a high blood pressure diagnosis.

What Low Blood Pressure Readings May Feel Like

Low blood pressure, while generally not as dangerous as high, can still be harmful. It can result in dizziness, dehydration, blurred vision, depression, and fainting. However, in most cases, if your blood pressure is slightly lower than 120 over 80 and is not accompanies by any of the above symptoms, you should not be worried.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure with Regular Check-Ups

Getting your blood pressure checked is quick, easy, and definitely worth it. If you’d like to get your blood pressure checked, drop by your hometown AppleCare clinic and we’ll get you checked out in no time!