Blood Pressure Check
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries (large blood vessels) as it is pumped around your body by your heart. It indicates how much work your heart needs to do to pump blood around your body.
Blood pressure measurements consist of two numbers. Normal blood pressure is 120/80mmHg. Blood pressure may increase or decrease depending on a range of factors such as age, diet, heart health, emotions, activity, the medication you take, smoking & caffeine intake
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. You are considered to have high blood pressure if your blood pressure readings are consistently measuring 140/90mmHg or higher on separate occasions. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. In order to detect if you have high blood pressure, you need to have your blood pressure checked by yourHickey's pharmacy team or GP. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious conditions, including stroke and heart attack.
However once detected, high blood pressure can be managed with some lifestyle changes and, if needed, medication.
Am I at risk of high blood pressure?
You may be at risk if:
- You are over 30 and you have never had your blood pressure checked
- You are a smoker
- You are overweight (with a BMI of 25 or greater)
- You have a high intake of salt and processed foods
- You have a low intake of fruit and vegetables
- You have a high intake of alcohol
- You are not physically active. (It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days each week.)
- You have a family history of high blood pressure
- Your doctor has recommended that 24-hour blood pressure monitoring would be useful for you.
- You have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure and you or your doctor wish to see if steps taken have brought your blood pressure under control (e.g. lifestyle changes or blood pressure medication)
- You suffer from ‘White Coat’ hypertension which means that you may get a temporary high blood pressure reading while you are at the doctor’s surgery because you are nervous or stressed.
- You or a member of your family has high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.
- You or your doctor want to find out if you have high blood pressure at night. High blood pressure while sleeping is considered high risk for heart disease
- A member of your Hickey's pharmacy team will fit a lightweight monitor to your waist which is connected to a cuff on your arm.
- Every thirty minutes the cuff will inflate and squeeze your arm as it takes your blood pressure.
- After 24 hours you will return to your pharmacy where a member of the pharmacy team will remove the monitor and cuff and download your results.
- The results will show a graph illustrating your blood pressure during the 24 hour period. Your results will be explained to you by your pharmacy team member and you will be given a copy of the report to bring to your doctor.
- A member of your pharmacy team can carry out a once-off blood pressure check in our consultation room free of charge and advise you on your result.
- If you opt for our 24-hour blood pressure monitoring service, the cost is €60. Ask your pharmacy team if this is available in your pharmacy and to make an appointment.
“4 in 5 men and 2 in 3 women with high blood pressure are not being treated.” (Source: Irish Heart Foundation)
At your local Hickey's Pharmacy, a member of our trained pharmacy team can check your blood pressure for free in our private consultation room and talk to you about the results. Your pharmacy team member will be able to tell you if your blood pressure is normal or if you may need to speak to the pharmacist or your doctor about it.
We will also give you advice on how to help keep your blood pressure within normal limits. Having your blood pressure checked is a quick and painless process. If you are coming in to get your blood pressure checked we recommend you wear a short-sleeved top so we can access your arm easily in order to get an accurate reading.
Please contact your local Hickey's Pharmacy in advance to make an appointment. To find your nearest Hickeys Pharmacy click here