High Blood Pressure
You can have high blood pressures (hypertension) for years without a single symptom. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases you risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your artieries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. High blood pressure typically develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, gihg blood pressures can be easily detected.
And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it. Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
When to see a doctor:
Unless you have symptoms of extremely high blood pressure, there´s probably no need to make a special trip to the doctor to have your blood pressure checked.
You´ll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor´s appointment. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every wo years starting at age 20. He or she will likely recommend more frequent readings if you´ve alreday been diagnosed with high blood pressure, prehypertension or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Children age 3 and older will usually have their blood pressure measured as a part of their yearly checkups.