We care for you & your health, which is why we offer a range of health services right here in our pharmacy, including blood pressure checks and 24 hour monitoring.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of the blood in your arteries and veins. It indicates how much work your heart needs to do to pump blood around the body. Over half of adults over 50 years of age in Ireland have high blood pressure. Irish Heart Foundation
Why should I have my blood pressure tested?
High Blood Pressure High blood pressure, also called hypertension, if not treated or kept under control it is one of the major risk factors for risk developing a cardiovascular disease (CVD), which include angina, stroke and heart attack. If high blood pressure is left untreated for a long time, it can also lead to kidney failure and even damage your sight. However, many people don’t know they have it because it doesn’t usually cause any obvious symptoms, gaining it the nickname the ‘silent killer’. That’s why all healthy adults over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Low Blood Pressure Low blood pressure might need investigation. At a low level oxygen and nutrients carried by the blood may not be reaching all the body’s tissues. This may lead to symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, blackouts or confusion.
Am I at risk for high blood pressure?
You may be at risk if:
- You are over the age of 40
- You are overweight (a BMI of 25 or higher)
- You have a family history of high blood pressure
- You have a diet high in salt and/or low in fresh fruit and vegetables
- You have a high alcohol intake
- You do not take 30 minutes of physical activity daily 4 in 5 men and 2 in 3 women with high blood pressure are not being treated. Irish Heart Foundation
- Blood pressure is described with two numbers- systolic and diastolic
- Systolic blood pressure is the pressure during a heartbeat
- Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure between heartbeats
- Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is written systolic over diastolic (for example 120/80 mmHg, or ‘120 over 80’)
- The normal level of blood pressure is usually 120 (systolic) over 80 (diastolic) mmHg
- High blood pressure is diagnosed when the readings on separate occasions are consistently above 140/90 mmHg
- Low blood pressure is diagnosed when the readings on separate occasions are consistently 90/60 mmHg or less
- For those with heart or circulatory disease, diabetes or kidney disease blood pressure should be below 130/80 mmHg
- Blood pressure may increase or decrease, depending on your age, heart condition, emotions, activity and the medication you take
- A high reading while sleeping is considered a high risk for CVD Know your numbers
How can I have my blood pressure tested?
There are two types of blood pressure testing services you can avail of:
1 – Blood Pressure Check Our trained pharmacists can check your blood pressure in our consultation room and within minutes you will get the results and an explanation of them. This is a quick and painless process, using automated Blood Pressure monitors which inflate on the arm just above the elbow to read blood pressure. It is easier to get an accurate reading if there are no clothes affecting the blood flow on the site being measured, so we recommend you wear a short sleeved top and that you rest for at least five minutes beforehand. Your pharmacist will then be able to tell you if your BP is normal or if further action needs to be taken. You will also receive advice on how help keep your blood pressure within normal limits. If your blood pressure is high, we may refer your back to your doctor.
2 – 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitoring If you wish to have a twenty-four hour monitor we can arrange an appointment at one of our pharmacies who provide the service. As blood pressure can vary throughout the day, many people require a twenty-four hour blood pressure test before a diagnosis can be made.
Why is the 24 hour blood pressure monitor service so important?
- Only a 24-hour blood pressure reading can evaluate night-time blood pressure. Those with raised night-time blood pressure are at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
- 24 hour blood pressure reading can identify people with white coat hypertension, this happens when BP shows a temporary rise in a doctor’s surgery (if are you nervous). These people may be misdiagnosed and put on a lifetime of unnecessary treatment.
- 24 hour blood pressure monitoring can identify people with masked hypertension. This is the reverse of white-coat hypertension, in that patients have normal blood pressure in a doctor’s surgery but over a 24 hour period it is elevated.
How does the 24 hours service work?
- A lightweight monitor is fitted to your waist which is connected to a cuff on your arm for 24 hours.
- A reading is taken every thirty minutes.
- You return to the pharmacy after 24 hours and your pharmacist will remove the device and download the results in seconds, giving you a report with your results.
- The results are explained to you when you return the machine, with a graph clearly showing how your blood pressure changed throughout the day.
- The report generated allows your doctor to review results throughout the day.
Up to 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, many without any symptoms. Irish Heart Foundation
How can your Allcare Pharmacist help if you have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure can be successfully reduced with medication. Our pharmacist is here to advise you on how to get maximum benefit from your treatment and help reduce your blood pressure, thus lowering your risk of CVD. We also have lots of other services to keep you in control of your blood pressure.
Our pharmacist can assess your lifestyle and recommend any changes that can help improve your cholesterol and general health.
Ensuring you maintain a healthy BMI will reduce your risk of developing many diseases, including CVD. Our pharmacists can check your BMI and suggests ways to keep it within a healthy range.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and our pharmacists can help you do this.
We can provide you with a review of your medicines to help you take the right doses at the right time and discuss any possible side effects.
Winter Flu Vaccine
You may be at risk of developing the flu. Ask our pharmacist if the vaccine is recommended for you.
We can have your prescriptions ready in advance so you can save time when collecting your prescriptions. The blood pressure check and advice is free of charge. The 24 hour blood pressure monitor is only €45.