Hypertension or high blood pressure is a measurement of the force against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. It increases the risk of associated cardiovascular (heart) diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, failure of kidneys or heart, other vascular complications.
Blood pressure readings are usually given as two numbers — for example, 120 over 80 (written as 120/80 mmHg). One or both of these numbers can be too high.
Hypertension is often the result of our lifestyle choices over many years. It comes as little surprise that as we get older we are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure. It is that condition which increases the risk of having a stroke, developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Our poor lifestyle choices have become deeply ingrained habits, but a habit is only a learned behaviour that we can change or replace.
The top number is your systolic pressure.
- It is considered high if it is over 140 most of the time.
- It is considered normal if it is below 120 most of the time.
The bottom number is your diastolic pressure.
- It is considered high if it is over 90 most of the time.
- It is considered normal if it is below 80 most of the time.
Many factors can affect blood pressure, including:
- How much water and salt you have in your body
- The condition of your kidneys, nervous system, or blood vessels
- The levels of different body hormones
Symptoms that may occur include:
- Ear noise or buzzing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vision changes
The measurements need to be repeated over time, so that the diagnosis can be confirmed.
If you monitor your blood pressure at home, you may be asked the following questions:
- What was your most recent blood pressure reading?
- What was the previous blood pressure reading?
- What is the average systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) reading?
- Has your blood pressure increased recently?
Nursing Diagnosis for Hypertension
1. Decreased Cardiac Output
2. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion: Cardiopulmonary, Gastrointestinal and Peripheral
3. Activity Intolerance
4. Acute Pain
5. Imbalanced Nutrition: More Than Body Requirements
6. Ineffective Coping