A blood pressure reading of 150 over 100 millimeters of mercury indicates that a person may have severe hypertension, according to Mayo Clinic. A physician takes at least two-to-three blood pressure readings before she diagnoses an individual with hypertension.
One out of three American adults has high blood pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Left untreated, high blood pressure can damage the body and cause stroke, kidney failure and coronary heart disease. Unfortunately, for most people, high blood pressure has no signs. A few people may develop dull headaches and nosebleeds, reports Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic notes that many things contribute to high blood pressure. Risk factors include age, family history, being overweight and lack of physical activity. Eating too much salt and too little potassium can also influence blood pressure levels. Some people may find that their blood pressure rises while they are under high levels of stress.
High blood pressure is treated with medications such as thiazide diuretics, beta blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, according to Mayo Clinic. If blood pressure does not go down, a physician may prescribe additional medications such as alpha-blockers, vasodilators and aldosterone antagonists. Blood pressure can also be managed through lifestyle changes. Physicians may recommend that patients eat less salt, lose weight and quit smoking.