Understanding Blood Pressure

What is healthy blood pressure?

Your heart pumps blood around your body to supply it with the oxygen and energy it needs. As your blood moves, it creates pressure against the sides of your blood vessels. The only way to know your blood pressure is to have a blood pressure reading using either an aneroid (manual) monitor or a digital monitor. 1

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The reading consists of two numbers. Firstly, the top number is your systolic blood pressure, which is the highest pressure in an artery when your heart is pumping blood to your body. Secondly is your diastolic blood pressure. This is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats i.e. when your heart is at rest. 2

A blood pressure reading is considered normal when the blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg or lower. 2 It is commonly said as “.”

What exactly is high blood pressure?

In general, high blood pressure refers to a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher. 3

If you have hypertension, the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is consistently too high. 4

Symptoms of

Most people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, but some may experience the following 4:

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

If your blood pressure is extremely high, you may experience these symptoms 5:

  • Feeling constantly tired
  • Severe headaches
  • Sight problems, like blurred vision
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in your urine
  • Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears

If you have high blood pressure, read our article “7 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy”.


  1. https://familydoctor.org/blood-pressure-monitoring-at-home/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410#
  3. https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/high-blood-pressure
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410
  5. https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-symptoms-high-blood-pressure


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