Hypertension and high blood pressure are often used interchangeably, which is fine in most cases. However, there is still a slight difference between the two terms.
High blood pressure
The ideal blood pressure falls between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. If it reaches 140/90mmHg or higher, you are suffering high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, your blood pressure is not a fixed number. A healthy person’s blood pressure will have some changes during the day. These changes depend on their emotions, activities, and even their food and drinks. Your blood pressure probably rises after physical activities, such as running, walking a long distance, or climbing up the stairs. You will get the same result by drinking a few cups of coffee, or by hearing some bad news. In those situations, your blood pressure readings will show a relatively higher number, which means you have high blood pressure at the moment. However, having high blood pressure once in a while does not necessarily guarantee you hypertension.
Hypertension is a chronic high blood pressure. It occurs when your blood pressure stays high for a long period of time, regardless of what you eat or do. Nevertheless, your lifestyle remains the potential culprit for your condition. Alcohol and tobacco consumption greatly contribute to your risk of getting hypertension. People who have other chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are more likely to have hypertension. Hypertension is a hereditary illness. So, if you happen to have a family member with hypertension, your risk of getting it will be significantly higher than those without a family history.
A blood pressure reading between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg is an alarming sign for hypertension. If you do not take measures to lower your blood pressure, you will get hypertension soon. You can reduce your chance of getting hypertension by making adjustments to your lifestyle. If you smoke or drink, it is time to quit. Try to limit your caffeine and salt intake as well. If you have another chronic disease, seek medical care and keep it under control. Those who have constantly high blood pressure readings may need to take medications to prevent their blood pressure from getting too high.
In short, it is safe to say having high blood pressure from time to time does not mean you already have hypertension. However, it is advisable to maintain a healthy lifestyle and visit your doctor regularly to keep track of your condition for better treatment.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: December 31, 2016 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019