Knowing your numbers could save your life
Did you know that almost 855,000 Queenslanders have high blood pressure? And the issue is, many of them don’t even know it.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said it’s very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
“Blood pressure that is too high or low can cause health problems, and might be a symptom of other health conditions,” she said.
“People with hypertension, or high blood pressure, don’t display any symptoms but if left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, diabetes, eye disease, erectile dysfunction and other conditions.
“Some people will need to take medication to keep their blood pressure at a healthy level.
“Others can manage high blood pressure by reducing stress, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, moderating alcohol intake and eating a balanced diet including less salt.
Dr Young said low blood pressure can also be an issue because of the symptoms it causes.
“People with low blood pressure, or hypotension, can experience symptoms including light-headedness, dizziness, blurred vision, fainting and weakness,” she said.
“In most cases, low blood pressure doesn’t need to be treated and is only a problem if there is a lack of oxygenated blood pumping to the organs, especially the brain.”
Dr Young said adults should have their blood pressure checked by their doctor at least every two years.
“I encourage everyone to have their blood pressure checked – the sooner any irregularities are detected and managed, the better,” she said.
Throughout May and June, the Stroke Foundation is hosting Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check, offering free blood pressure checks across the country.
Stroke Foundation Queensland State Manager Libby Dunstan said around 4.1 million Australians were living with un-controlled high blood pressure, putting themselves at serious and unnecessary risk of stroke.
“The best way to protect yourself from stroke is by knowing your blood pressure and managing your stroke risk,” she said.
“Stroke attacks the brain, the human control centre. It happens in an instant, changing the lives of the survivor and their loved ones forever.
“There is one stroke every 10 minutes. It tragically kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer, yet it is largely preventable.”
Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check is happening across the country until 14 June at Priceline Pharmacy stores, selected shopping centres and other participating pharmacies. Visit the Stroke Foundation website to find your nearest location for a free blood pressure check.
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