A man's arm in a blood pressure self-monitor machine

Blood Pressure

If you or your loved one has been told they have high blood pressure you may be wondering what it means and how you can help.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the artery (big blood vessel) walls as the heart beats. It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day, but if it stays high for a long time, the heart has to work harder to pump blood. This can cause damage to the heart. 

High blood pressure is often called hypertension. When untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke and other health problems. An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity can put you at risk for high blood pressure. Smoking also increases the chance for high blood pressure. Quit tobacco for good to reduce your risk.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. That’s why it is important to check your blood pressure regularly and learn self-management tips -- find local resources below.

Blood pressure & having a baby

A mother's blood pressure is an important measurement during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Monitoring blood pressure during pregnancy determines how pregnancy is managed, informs timing of delivery, and identifies any potential risk of complications to mother and baby. Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia can include high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. 

If you have a concern about your blood pressure, talk to your healthcare provider. Regularly monitoring and logging your blood pressure can help identify any changes or potential health risks. 

Download and use this blood pressure log, provided by the Preeclampsia Foundation. Bring your blood pressure log to all prenatal and postpartum appointments. 

Try these Lorain County resources to check your blood pressure:

Blood pressure check locator
Visit our locator to find all the places in Lorain County where you can either borrow a blood pressure or get your blood pressure checked by a professional for free.

Professionals at local Discount Drug Marts and fire departments can check your blood pressure. Visit our locator below to find a location. 

Borrow a blood pressure monitor from your local library
Lorain County Public Health partners with local libraries to offer home blood pressure monitors. Use a monitor at the library or check it out - just like a book! Each blood pressure kit contains one monitor with cuff, easy to read instructions, and materials to help track your numbers. Visit any of these locations to find a blood pressure monitor:

YMCA Self Monitor Blood Pressure Program 
The YMCA’s Self Monitor Blood Pressure (SMBP) Program is a program that helps support people who want to improve their blood pressure. Participants are matched with a Heart Healthy Coach who checks in with them and helps support healthy behavior change. This four-month program focuses on monitoring blood pressure, making lifestyle changes, and sharing results with your doctor.

Phone: 216-509-3480
Email: healthyliving@clevelandY.org

Learn what else can be done to protect your heart or manage your blood pressure -- heart health tips.

Find free fitness events in Lorain County

Find someone to help you quit smoking for good

Find a place to get your blood pressure checked: