As we age, our blood pressure rises – this is just a fact of life. Both your systolic blood pressure (when the heart beats) and diastolic blood pressure (between heartbeats) will get higher as you get older. This is normal and natural. However, some lifestyles or conditions can push blood pressure up to dangerous levels. If you only see a doctor or visit a clinic for a checkup occasionally then you may not even be aware this has happened.
My story: at the age of 59 I attended my doctor about my reflux. At the end of the consultation, he took my blood pressure, and said (paraphrased) ‘I haven’t seen readings as high as that for a while. If you don’t do something about this, I’ll have to put you on medication. This will be for the rest of your life.’
I was determined to take control of my blood pressure, so I started taking more exercise, cut down on my alcohol intake, and eliminated most salt from my food.
I also bought a blood pressure monitor, and started taking daily readings and recording them in my diary. This was incredibly helpful and encouraging, because I saw the actions I was taking did indeed make a difference. After a few months, I got my blood pressure down to normal readings for my age. I now feel in control of my health. This is why I added this page and the quiz to our low vision site.
Do you need a blood pressure monitor?