How do you check your blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels in the body. It is a diagnostic reading. There are two kinds of readings.
• Systolic reading (measures when heart contracts and beats, it is the upper reading)
• Diastolic reading(measures when the heart relaxes, it is lower reading)
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 according to the American heart association (AHA).

Measure Your Blood Pressure

Measuring your blood pressure is necessary to check whether you have high blood pressure in your vessels or not. Because high blood pressure often shows no signs and symptoms. An accurate reading is important for diagnostic purposes. Because high blood pressure leads to hypertensive situations, therefore should be regularly followed by a medical caretaker.

What affects a blood pressure reading?
Blood pressure reading may be affected by the following factors.
• Nervousness about having high blood pressure
• Eating, drinking, or consuming anything before reading
• How you are sitting during reading
• Physical activity before reading
These factors should be avoided before taking any reading because measuring accurate blood pressure is necessary to know the overall heart health.

What is the correct way to measure blood pressure?
You should follow these instructions before checking your blood pressure.
• Don’t eat or drink
• Empty your bladder
• Sit in a comfortable chair with the back supported
• Put your both feet flat on the ground
• Don’t talk
• Cuff should be against your bare skin
• Avoid exercising, smoking, and drinking caffeine or alcohol for 30 minutes before taking a blood pressure reading
• Avoid checking blood pressure in cold rooms
• You should take a deep breath and relax for 5 minutes before measurements.

METHODS OF MEASURING BLOOD PRESSURE

Checking blood pressure manually
Manual blood pressure is checked with the help of the following instrumentation
• A Stethoscope
• An aneroid monitor
• A squeezable balloon with a blood pressure cuff

Blood pressure is measured manually by following these steps.
• The person should sit in a relaxing mood on a chair and put his arm on a table.
• Place the cuff around his biceps with bare skin. It shouldn’t be tight.
• Now squeeze the balloon to put pressure.
• Watch the aneroid monitor and increase the pressure by 20 to 30 mm Hg to the normal reading.
• Now place the stethoscope under the cuff.
• Now deflate the cuff and listen to the sounds. These sounds are called korotkoff sounds.
• The reading at first sound is called systolic reading
• And the second reading when the steady sound stops is called diastolic sound.

This process is old and difficult. Nowadays, Automated blood pressure machines are often used by doctors.

Automated blood pressure machines
It is the easiest way to measure blood pressure at home and the pharmacy. It is a more accurate method to measure Blood pressure. The automated blood pressure monitors with an upper cuff are easy to use and easy to carry. Every monitor has instructions. These instructions are followed by a doctor or a person to measure correct reading. The doctor should compare a person’s at-home machine with his machine to give an idea of the accuracy.

The blood pressure is checked with automated monitors by following steps.
• Turn the power on to start the unit.
• The cuff will inflate by itself with a push of a button.
• After the cuff inflates, these devices will slowly let the air out.
• You should look at the display screen of the machine to get the readings.
• It will show your systolic and diastolic pressures.
• The systolic pressure goes in front of the diastolic pressure. For example, 120/80.
• Press the exhaust button to release all of the air from the cuff.
• If you need to repeat the measurement, wait for 3 to 4 minutes before starting
• And you should measure two readings to confirm.

Using a high-quality machine is effective for an accurate reading. Incorrect reading leads to dangerous levels of stress or other health effects. Inaccurate reading leads to a harmful change in medication and treatments.
Automated blood pressure monitors are of two types
• Arm cuff
• Wrist cuff
These both give the most accurate reading on measuring blood pressure. The automated blood pressure monitors help in early diagnosis and help to track your treatment. They encourage better control through regular follow-up.

RESULTS

Any individual should know the following categories of blood pressure reading to properly monitor and control his blood pressure. The readings of blood pressure are given below.

Blood pressure status Systolic pressure (mm Hg) Diastolic pressure (mm Hg)
Normal less than 120 less than 80
Elevated 120–129 less than 80
Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension)
130–139 80–89
Stage 2 high blood pressure 140 or higher 90 or higher

Hypertensive crisis (seek immediate medical attention) higher than 180 higher than 120
The blood pressure numbers depend on some factors. These factors can change the blood pressure numbers according to the person. These factors are
• Weight of the person
• Age of the person
• Physical activity of the person
• Stress levels
• Any medical condition

A person should visit his or her doctor when more than two readings show higher levels of blood pressure. Anyone who is in a medical crisis should be treated as an emergency. Proper guidance is necessary to control high blood pressure.

Things to avoid during readings of blood pressure
If a person has some medical condition on an arm. So he should ask his doctor before taking measurements. Those conditions are given below.
• A person had muscular weakness in one arm, called paresis.
• A person had paralysis in one arm.
• A person had lymphedema.
• If a person had a line into their veins, such as a catheter
• If a person had a mastectomy on one side
• If a person has recent surgical wounds on one side
• A person had a dialysis shunt in one arm

These conditions can lead to other medical effects so one should avoid that arm to check blood pressure. That person should use the other arm to place the cuff and check the blood pressure.

Outlook

Various blood monitors are available to measure blood pressure. Regular checkup is necessary to control the adverse effects of hypertension. Monitoring at home should be followed by a doctor’s checkup. Lifestyle changes are beneficial to controlling high blood pressure.

Which diseases can be prevented by regularly measuring blood pressure?

Atherosclerosis is the main complication of long-term high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis causes narrowing of the vessels with plaque formation. Regular monitoring of blood pressure can prevent from following diseases.
• Heart failure and heart diseases
• Bulging of the wall of vessels and perforation of vessels.
• Kidney failure
• Stroke.
• Hypertensive retinopathy.
• Hypertension-related stress.

A regular follow-up and proper monitoring can prevent these adverse effects of long-term high blood pressure. And these diseases are having a bad effect on overall health. So by controlling blood pressure, A person can improve overall health.

ForaCare’s hypertension solutions are clinically-validated for accurate self-monitoring, and are packed with features that assist in the detection of cardiovascular diseases such as heart arrhythmia.

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