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Why is it important to monitor your blood pressure at home
Blood pressure data is one of the main indicators of the state of the cardiovascular system and health in general. Indicators can change during the day and depend on conflicts, experiences, and physical activity. The need for BP control is the presence of arterial hypertension in history. Also, using a BP machine will be appropriate even for healthy people to check blood pressuret home.
What is blood pressure, and why it matters for your health
It is the force with which blood presses on the walls of blood vessels. This is almost the main indicator of the state of the cardiovascular system and the whole organism as a whole — deviations from the norm can be caused by various reasons.
The older the person, the more likely his pressure indicators do not fit into the norm. And all because over time, the walls of blood vessels lose their elasticity, and atherosclerotic deposits (plaques) appear in them. In the specialized literature, you can even find the wording «elderly hypertension». Hypertension is called the «silent killer» for a reason. Symptoms of the disease are not always obvious. Importance of monitoring blood pressure is necessary in order to avoid suddenly becoming a victim of this disease, especially in adulthood.
Causes and symptoms of high blood pressure
In a completely healthy person, blood pressure may occasionally increase. But do not postpone a visit to the doctor if you feel the following symptoms:
- persistent headaches in the occipital and temporal areas;
- noise in ears;
- redness of the skin on the neck and face;
- memory impairment;
- the feeling of anxiety;
These symptoms are also characteristic of other diseases, so you should consult a therapist for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. The nature of the treatment depends on the causes of hypertension.
Causes of high blood pressure:
- unhealthy diet, including excessive salt intake;
- physical inactivity or, conversely, excessive physical activity;
- genetic predisposition;
- hormonal imbalance;
- pathology of the thyroid gland;
- alcohol, smoking.
How to check your blood pressure at home
Bp monitoring at home is used very widely. Measurements at home are very useful — they allow the doctor to more accurately assess the actual blood pressure level and correctly prescribe antihypertensive drugs for the long-term treatment of patients with hypertension.
How to use electronic blood pressure monitors
A blood pressure monitor is a must-have accessory for self-diagnosis.
The amount of error in measurements with any type of instrument depends on a few simple rules that must be followed to obtain accurate data:
- When using the device «on the shoulder», place the cuff 2 cm above the elbow bend, and place your arm freely on the table.
- If a person uses a blood pressure monitor «on the wrist», the cuff should still be at the level of the heart.
- To obtain correct data, do not clamp the cuff too tight.
- Conduct research 2 times with an interval of 2-3 minutes and choose the average.
- Take measurements at the same time of day — this will ensure the most identical state of the body and reduce the likelihood of error.
Using a manual blood pressure cuff
The design of a manual BP monitor consists of a cuff and a stethoscope. A pressure gauge and an air blower are connected with the cuff. The measurement process is as follows:
- The hand on which the measurement is taken is freed from clothing and placed on a flat surface. A cuff is put on it and tightened but not very tight. The distance from the cuff’s edge to the arm’s crease is about 2 cm.
- A stethoscope must be inserted into the ears, and the amplifier placed in the elbow crease on the inside of the arm. The manometer must be placed in front of the eyes.
- A pear is taken into the free hand and compressed, and the air is pumped into the cuff to a mark of approximately 200 mm Hg.
- After reaching the desired mark, the wheel on the pear is slightly unscrewed, and the air from the cuff begins to exit gradually. You need to do this slowly.
- In the process of how the air from the cuff descends, the arrow on the pressure gauge begins to move down. At this time, it is important to listen carefully to the sounds in the stethoscope.
- Air is released as long as heartbeats are heard. The last such hit will be your bottom pressure. By fixing it, the cuff can be completely deflated.
How to understand the blood pressure readings
Optimal blood pressure — SBP less than 120 mm Hg and/or DBP less than 80 mm Hg.
Normal readings are in the SBP range of 120-129 mm Hg and/or DBP 80–84 mm Hg.
If your results fall into this category, stick to heart-healthy habits like a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Hypertension is when the BP readings are constantly above 140 mm Hg for systolic and more than 90 mm Hg for diastolic. Measures must be taken to control this condition.
How to lower the risk of higher blood pressure
If your measurements are abnormal, a healthy lifestyle, often along with medication, can help control it and reduce your risk of life-threatening complications. How often to check blood pressure? If you have problems, then do it twice a day. Clinical studies have shown that the following lifestyle changes can significantly lower blood pressure over time:
- regular physical activity;
- moderate alcohol consumption;
- smoking cessation;
- reduced salt intake;
- a large number of vegetables and fruits in the diet;
- low-fat diet and other diets;
- excess weight reduction.
When you need to call a doctor
It is impossible to know in advance whether the crisis will be limited to mild symptoms or lead to complications. Therefore, with any increase in pressure, you need to consult a specialist.
Be sure to see a doctor if:
- this is the first case of an increase in blood pressure;
- you are a hypertensive «with experience»;
- you are over 60 years old;
- you are pregnant;
- you have chronic diseases (autoimmune diseases, kidney disease, or hormonal disorders).
Simple control of blood pressure will avoid the development of serious diseases of the cardiovascular system and their complications — heart attack, stroke, vascular dementia, retinopathy, or sudden death.
Every person should have an electronic blood pressure cuff, that you can find on the Paramed website because disease prevention is always more effective than treatment. In addition, detecting the disease in the early stages helps prevent the development of its complications, and it will be much easier and more successful to cope with it.