What is used to measure blood pressure?
Having high blood pressure (hypertension) is not usually something that you feel or notice. It does not tend to produce obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to know what your blood pressure is, is to have it measured.
Blood pressure is measured in ‘millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg) and is written as two numbers. For example, if your reading is 120/80mmHg, your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’.
What do the numbers mean?
Every blood pressure reading consists of two numbers or levels. They are shown as one number on top of the other.
The first (or top) number is your systolic blood pressure. It is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats.
The second (or bottom) number is your diastolic blood pressure. It is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Keep your blood pressure low
Even if you do not have high blood pressure at the moment, it is important to keep your blood pressure as low as you can. The higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems.