What are the different blood pressure categories?
Blood pressure can be categorized into five different types:
Normal: Blood pressure upto 120/80 mm Hg is normal blood pressure.
Prehypertension: When blood pressure readings consistently range from 120 to 139 systolic and upto 80 mm Hg diastolic, it is known as prehypertensive. People with elevated blood pressure are at a risk of high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control it.
Hypertension stage I: In this condition, blood pressure readings consistently range from 140 to 159 systolic or 90-99 mmHg diastolic. Doctors may prescribe lifestyle modifications such as cutting back on salt and stress along with blood pressure medication to reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
Hypertension stage II: In this condition, blood pressure readings consistently range upto 160 mmHg systolic or higher. The diastolic value is up to 100 mmHg or higher. The doctors may prescribe a combination of two blood pressure medications and lifestyle changes.
Hypertensive crisis: This is the most critical condition and requires emergency medical attention. In this condition, the blood pressure suddenly exceeds 180/120 mmHg. Contact the physician immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Back pain
- Change in vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Severe headache