Where can I have my blood pressure measured?
Everyone should know their blood pressure. Your GP or practice nurse will check it for you. You may also be able to have it done at one of the pharmacies or optical practices below:
- Beacon Opticians Plus+, Beacon Centre, Wolverhampton Road East, Sedgley.
Tel. 01902 886794
- Priory Community Pharmacy, 95-97 Priory Road, Dudley. DY1 4EH. Tel. 01384 366544
- Eye Health Clinic, 168 High Street, Dudley. DY1 1QS. Tel. 01384 93643
- Specsavers, 13 Castle Street, Dudley. DY1 1LF. Tel. 01384 214851
- Specsavers, 9 Townsend Place, Kingswinford. DY6 9JL. Tel. 01384 402886
- Brettell Lane Pharmacy, 108b Brettell Lane, Stourbridge. DY8 4BS. Tel. 01384 443666
- Specsavers, 71 High Street, Stourbridge. DY8 1DX Tel. 01384 440464
- Lloyds Pharmacy, 11 Peckingham Street, Halesowen. B63 3AW. Tel. 0121 550 1374
If you are over 40 you will be offered an NHS Health check by your GP practice or you can check if you are eligible for one at any of the pharmacies or optical practices above. Your blood pressure will be measured as part of the check.
How can I reduce my blood pressure?
Leading a healthy lifestyle, such as reducing weight, being active, eating healthily and getting a good night’s sleep will reduce your blood pressure. In particular, though, the following have been shown to have a direct effect on lowering your blood pressure:
Reducing alcohol – One drink will raise your blood pressure. It will rise further and further with each drink. Cutting down to the recommended levels if you drink too much is the most effective way to reduce your blood pressure.
Cutting down on salt – Too much salt makes your body retain water and the water adds to the volume of blood inside your blood vessels, making your heart work harder and your blood pressure rise. Reducing salt to no more than 6g a day will reduce water retention. But, do not replace salt with salt substitutes and remember that medicines can contain high levels of salt, e.g. antacid remedies, some painkillers. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
Stopping smoking – Smoking provides the perfect environment for cholesterol to build up in your blood vessels and make them narrow or even blocked. A narrowed blood vessel will make your heart work harder to pump blood through it and the blood pressure in your blood vessels will rise.
Cutting down on caffeine and energy drinks – Stimulants such as caffeine will increase your blood pressure. Limit coffee to no more than 4 cups (approx. 2 mugs) a day. Also, limit drinks containing caffeine, such as cola and energy drinks. Try caffeine free versions.
Taking medication as prescribed
- For best health results, adopt a healthy lifestyle as well as taking your medication. A healthy lifestyle may well mean that your blood pressure returns to normal and if you are already taking medication, it may mean it can be stopped. Speak to your GP for advice.
- If your doctor has prescribed medication, remember to ask questions to make sure you understand what it does and what to expect as well as how often you need to be seen for check ups etc. You can get this information from your GP, practice nurse or your local pharmacist.