How to manage your Blood Pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of work that is required by the heart to pump blood around the body. It is broken up into two measurements, systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number). Systolic blood pressure is the pressure your blood is exerting on the artery walls when your heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure your blood is exerting on the artery walls when your heart is at rest between beats.

A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80mmHg. High blood pressure (hypertension) is anything over 140/90mmHg and low blood pressure (hypotension) is anything under 90/60mmHg.

The Irish Heart Foundation in Ireland states that over half of all adults in Ireland over the age of 45 have high blood pressure.


High Blood presssure (Hypertension)

What causes high blood pressure?

It is not always clear what causes high blood pressure and not necessarily one thing. You are more at risk of developing high blood pressure from the following:

Being overweight


Not enough physical activity

High intake of salt

High intake of alcohol

Family history of high blood pressure

Age (>65 years)


It is important to maintain healthy blood pressure as high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and vascular dementia as it puts extra strain on your blood vessels.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

There is usually no symptoms of high blood pressure and is therefore important if you are over the age of 30 you should have your blood pressure checked at least once every five years. The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked.

Treatment of high blood pressure

Includes medication and life style changes. These will be discussed with your doctor to find the most suitable medication to keep it under control.

Lifestyle changes to reduce blood pressure include:

Maintain a healthy weight

Exercise regularly

Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables

Reduce alcohol consumption

Reduce salt consumption


If you have high blood, reducing your blood pressure by a small amount is hugely beneficial to reducing the risk of complications.


All our pharmacies offer a free blood pressure check. It is carried out in private in the consultation room and is very quick. A cuff is place around the upper arm and there is a slight pinch when the machine is turned on. We can let you know