Every time yourthe blood pumps through your bloodstream, putting pressure on your blood vessels ̵
But there can always be too much of a good thing, right? High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the force against your blood vessel walls becomes too high, which can kick your heart into overdrive and lead to serious health problems such as a heart attack and stroke.
The scary thing is that high blood pressure is usually not accompanied by symptoms. In fact, it's so symptomless that it's nicknamed & # 39; silent killer & # 39; has got. Anyone at risk for high blood pressure must remain keenly aware of their blood pressure. Even if you are generally healthy and have no family history of hypertension, it is still worth checking your blood pressure every so often.
Because you probably don't go to the doctor's office every day, week, or month to be checked, here's a handy guide for checking your blood pressure at home.
How to use a blood pressure cuff at home
You can always inflate a manual blood pressure monitor with a hand pump and count Korotkoff noises in your head, but why wouldbe so easy these days available? They don't have to be expensive either: some models sell for less than $ 30 per unit for .
Plus, you are more likely to have an accurate blood pressure reading if you use a digital cuff – there is less room for error. To take your blood pressure at home with a digital blood pressure monitor, you only need:
1. Slide the blood pressure cuff onto your upper arm and secure it so that it is about an inch above the fold of your elbow.
2. If you have an automatic model, simply press the button that inflates the cuff. If you have a manual model, use the hand pump to inflate the cuff.
3. After the cuff is fully inflated, the air starts to flow back automatically.
4. Look at the screen to get your blood pressure measurement.
5. If you need to repeat the measurement, wait a few minutes before trying a new measurement.
Theare automatic, accurate and meet the standards of the American Heart Association (AHA). If you are looking for one, then look for these two very important components of blood pressure monitors at home .
Tips for obtaining an accurate blood pressure measurement
To accurately track your blood pressure over time, you should not just sit in a chair to take a measurement. Instead, you must implement some simple methods that help ensure accuracy.
1. Take your blood pressure at the same time of day for each new recording.
2. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 30 minutes prior to your reading.
3. Avoid exercising within 30 minutes of taking your blood pressure.
4. Sit up straight and stay still during the measurement.
5. Perform multiple measurements and record all results with the date and time.
6. Do not wear the blood pressure cuff over clothing.
Taking your blood pressure manually
Manually taking a blood pressure measurement is not complicated, but must be done by a trained medical professional. If you want to measure your blood pressure at home, it is better to use a digital blood pressure cuff to eliminate user errors that can cause unreliable measurements.
What is healthy blood pressure?
According to the AHA, healthy blood pressure is one that stays below 120/80 mmHg.
Insight into blood pressure measurements
Blood pressure measurements are written as two numbers. It usually looks like a fraction, followed by the letters "mmHg." For example 120/80 mmHg.
The first number is your systolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second digit is your diastolic blood pressure, which refers to the pressure in your blood when your heart rests between beats.
The "mmHg" stands for "millimeters of mercury". Doctors used mercury in the first accurate blood pressure monitors and the unit remained the standard for measurements.
Every time you measure your blood pressure, the measurement falls into one of the five categories. Here is an overview of the different blood pressure categories.
Normal: Less than 120/80 mmHg. You are doing great! Keep eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Increased (prehypertension): 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mmHg. Example: 125/75 mmHg. Make some small adjustments to your lifestyle, such as adding aerobic exercises to your day and keeping stress levels low, to reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
Hypertension stage 1: 130 to 139 systolic or 80-89 diastolic. Examples: 131/75 mmHg and 127/85 mmHg. Doctors will prescribe lifestyle changes at this stage and may prescribe medication depending on your risk of atherosclerotic and cardiovascular disease.
Hypertension stage 2: Systolic of 140 or higher or diastolic of 90 or higher. Examples: 140/80 mmHg and 130/100 mmHg. Doctors will almost certainly prescribe medication to control your blood pressure, as well as lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure naturally. It is really important to maintain healthy habits when you have reached this stage of hypertension.
Hypertensive crisis: Systolic higher than 180 and / or diastolic higher than 120. Requires immediate medical attention. If your measurement suddenly exceeds these amounts, wait five minutes and test again. If the value does not decrease, call your doctor immediately.
If your reading exceeds these figures and you also have symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness, do not wait to read again – seek medical help immediately.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.