Hypertension is when a patient has abnormally high blood pressure. To determine when hypertension occurs, a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is used. 120/80 mm Hg or lower is generally considered normal and healthy blood pressure. Anything above 130/80 mm Hg is generally considered hypertension, with the severity of the condition increasing as the top and bottom numbers increase.
Hypertension can lead to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and can contribute to conditions, including heart attacks and strokes. Hypertension may result in headaches, nosebleeds, and/or shortness of breath, but the majority of patients with hypertension exhibit no noticeable everyday symptoms.
Hypertension may be treated through prescription medication, or healthier lifestyle choices, like increased exercise and eating a healthy diet.