There are 5 different stages of hypertension or high blood pressure
The normal blood pressure reading of a healthy individual is 120/80 mm Hg
Prehypertension is an early indicator of increasing blood pressure
Hypertension can be defined as high blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured by the amount of blood pumped by your heart to the resistance with which it flows in the arteries. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg. It has systolic pressure and diastolic pressure and is measured in ‘mm HG’. Systolic is the top number which is measured by the pressure created in your arteries during a heartbeat. The bottom number or the diastolic pressure is a pressure created in the arteries between heartbeats.
Blood pressure is measured using a device called a sphygmomanometer and you should check it frequently if you have a history of hypertension.  While you can have high pressure and show no symptoms, this condition is linked with several health issues. Read on to know more about it.
Additional read: How to Manage Hypertension During Pregnancy: An Important Guide
According to the revised medical guidelines , blood pressure levels can be categorized into 5 stages. These 5 hypertension stages can be briefly classified as following:
· Hypertension Stage 1
· Hypertension Stage 2
· Hypertensive crisis
When you get a blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg, it is considered normal blood pressure. In an elevated stage, the systolic value lies between 120- and 129-mm Hg with a diastolic reading of less than 80 mm Hg. This is known as prehypertension and you should seek medical care quickly to keep it in check.
Stage 1 hypertension is when your systolic value is between 130- and 139-mm Hg and your diastolic value is within 80-89 mm Hg. Elevated pressure should be dealt with promptly to avoid complications. Stage 2 hypertension is when the pressure readings are at 140/90 mm Hg or higher. This can be brought under control by following a combination of healthy lifestyle changes and prescribed medications.
The last and most critical stage is known as a hypertensive crisis. This is when the blood pressure reading is 180/120 mm Hg. At this stage, you absolutely need medical care. You may need to rush to a hospital as there is a high risk of stroke. What’s more, when your pressure is this high for a long period of time, it will cause damage to your blood vessels. Common symptoms of this stage are numbness, chest pain, or shortness of breath. [2,3,4]
In cases of severe hypertension, you may notice symptoms that require immediate attention. Typically, these occur if the pressure goes unnoticed for long, which is why it is better to get your blood pressure checked periodically.
· Chest pain
· Bleeding from the nose
· Shortness of breath
· Visual changes
· Presence of blood in the urine
Your doctor may recommend more frequent monitoring of blood pressure levels considering the risk factors. If you have had cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure in your youth, it is necessary to monitor your blood pressure levels regularly. As your age increases, the risk of hypertension also increases. Other risk factors associated with high blood pressure include your family history, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, stress, and high dependence on tobacco or alcohol. 
The most notable effect of hypertension is that it causes damage to the heart. High blood pressure results in cardiac problems such as heart failure, coronary heart disease, and enlargement of the heart. Apart from the heart, hypertension can cause serious damage to other organs like the brain, kidneys, arteries, and eyes. These can lead to life-threatening complications such as dementia, kidney failure, and retinal damage if not controlled properly. Thankfully, hypertension is manageable, even if you have a history of heart problems.
Consistent monitoring and keeping a track of your blood pressure is the first step. Next, you will need to put a few lifestyle-related changes in place. These paired with proper exercise and stress management can do wonders for keeping pressure levels under control. For instance, stress, which is one of the main causes of hypertension, can be reduced by indulging in activities like meditation, yoga, massage, or deep breathing technique. Reducing unhealthy practices like alcohol consumption and smoking will also help a great deal.
Lastly, you must follow a healthy diet. Limit unnecessary carbohydrate and sugar intakes, while maintaining a low sodium diet. Excess salt in food is known to increase blood pressure. Besides these, medications also help. Common blood pressure medications prescribed by doctors include beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics to name a few. [5,6]
Hypertension is a serious but often ignored health condition. Many go undiagnosed and only seek care when it is serious. This is usually the case when preventive care isn’t as much a priority as it should be. To ensure you stay healthy, book an appointment with a specialist on the Bajaj Finserv Health platform. This way, you can schedule routine blood pressure checks and get the care you need without delay or hassles.