Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.
When Joy made her annual visit to the optician she had no idea what a lifesaver it would be. The optician said what Joy had thought was an eye infection was in fact haemorrhaging (burst blood vessels) caused by high blood pressure.
"He told me to call my doctor immediately," said Joy. "Within the hour my blood pressure was found to be 190/110mmHg! I was amazed and horrified. My GP was blunt – I could have had a stroke or heart attack at any moment. Not what you want to hear at the age of 56."
Joy was prescribed medication and further reduced fat in what she had thought was an already low-fat diet. Home monitoring also helped Joy to identify that exercise made a significant difference.
"I now know that regular exercise must be included in my routine. It’s been quite a lifestyle change but I have learnt to like it. I feel a lot more lively, and now I’ve retired, I also go to weekly keep fit classes. When I complete the hourly session I thank my optician for making me have that eye test. But for him, I could be dead or disabled.
"None of us should take our health for granted so I’d advise everyone to spare a few minutes to have their blood pressure checked during the BPA’s Know your Numbers! Week."