Hypertension or high blood pressure is always a concern. Your dad's doctor pays very close attention to the numbers and comes up with a treatment plan. Here are the things you must know about hypertension.
What Do the Numbers Mean?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure of flowing blood on the arteries within the heart. The first number (systolic) is the pressure of the blood during a beat. The second number (diastolic) is the pressure on the walls between beats.
Blood pressure is measured using “mm Hg.” Blood pressure gauges originally used mercury (Hg) to accurately measure pressure. That pressure is measured in millimeters. While mercury is not being used as often due to the environmental damage and instead use electronic pressure sensors, measurements are still given in terms of mm Hg.
For blood pressure to be considered normal, the measurement should not be higher than 119 over 79. Blood pressure can also be too low. Generally, it's not a cause for immediate concern, but it can be a sign of dehydration, infection, certain endocrine conditions, heart issues, and blood loss. The doctor may want to rule out things like Addison's disease, hypothyroidism, and heart valve issues.
While blood pressure readings of 120 over 80 were once normal, they're now considered elevated. It's not an immediate cause for concern, but the doctor will recommend exercise and dietary changes.
High blood pressure is diagnosed when the blood pressure reaches 130 to 139 (systolic) and/or 80 to 89 (diastolic). This is the first stage and your dad will need to make changes. If it's 140 to 180 and/or 90 to 120, it's reached stage two. The danger zone is when blood pressure is over 180 and/or 120. Medical attention is urgent.
Medications may become necessary if blood pressure is too high. They can be introduced in any stage of hypertension, but it's most likely from stage two on.
Why is High Blood Pressure a Concern?
The higher the pressure, the higher the risk of serious health issues. Why? It's an indicator that the arteries have plaque building up.
High blood pressure raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association says that each 20 mm Hg (systolic)/10 mm Hg (diastolic) over the recommended numbers doubles your risk.
How Can Your Dad Lower His Blood Pressure?
Diet, exercise, and medications are three ways to lower blood pressure. A low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar diet will be recommended. Look into the DASH Diet and ask the doctor what he/she thinks.
Home care services are an important partner to your family when you're helping your dad work on lowering his blood pressure. Home care aides help your dad remember to take his medications, assist him with grocery shopping, and drive him to his appointments for follow-up care. Call a home care agency to discuss your dad's ideal care plan.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering In-Home Care Services in Huntington Beach CA, talk to the caring staff at Cambrian Home Care today. (562) 498-1800 / (877) 390-4300.