Your reference about blood pressure and monitoring devices
All You Need To Know About Blood Pressure
Measuring your blood pressure is important and can help you and your doctors understand more about your body and how healthy it is. Not many people know why this is crucial or what can happen if they have unhealthy habits. Further, it is not often talked about enough about the symptoms and risks of both having high or low blood pressure, and even what to do to control it.
In this article, we covered every aspect of the topic so you can learn more about your body and even help others in case of an emergency. This post is divided into sections that include what blood pressure is and how it is measured, the importance of measuring your blood pressure often and the different types of blood pressure there is.
Apart from that, we included useful information regarding high and low blood pressure in specific categories like pregnancy, and childhood as well as the differences in age and gender that can increase the chances of developing high blood pressure.
In the end, we share some recommendations that can help lower your blood pressure naturally with things like changing your diet, exercising more, quitting smoking and drinking as well as getting enough sleep. Regardless, some people might require blood pressure medication, therefore scheduling an appointment with a doctor is advisable too.
What Are The Symptoms Of Changes In Your Blood Pressure?
When you experience changes in your blood pressure it can mean one of two things: your blood pressure either dropped or elevated. Below we’ll go through the common symptoms of both, so you can easily spot when something’s not right.
If you have low blood pressure, suddenly or constantly, you might experience dizziness or lightheadedness, blurred vision, confusion, a sense of body weakness as well as feeling sick. When your blood pressure is too low, you might also faint. Not eating enough is the main cause of this, but if you notice this happening a lot, you should seek medical help (4).
As for high blood pressure, the symptoms include severe headaches, confusion or fatigue, chest pain, nosebleed, blood in urine, irregular heartbeat as well as vision problems, chest pain, and pounding in your chest, neck, and ears.
How Is Blood Pressure Measured?
Your blood pressure can fluctuate during the day, therefore it is important to understand this before grabbing any blood pressure measuring device. This can happen due to stress, anxiety, physical activity you do during the day, the food and drinks you consume, and other factors.
Measuring your blood pressure just once might result in a wrongful idea of your blood pressure state, thus it can happen that during the time you measure your blood pressure your body is not in the perfect condition to do so. For example, if you just went for a run, eat a heavy meal, or happen to be very stressed. Apart from this, it is recommended that you measure your blood pressure a few times during the day to have an average result on your blood pressure numbers.
To get a reliable reading it is recommended that you measure your blood pressure on different days and while your body is resting (1). The best way to get an accurate reading is to sit on a chair, with your upper arm resting on a table, relax and wait three minutes before beginning to measure your blood pressure. This will allow your circulatory system to rest naturally and result in an appropriate reading.
Ways To Measure Blood Pressure
There are a few ways to measure your blood pressure, such as using a digital device or a manual instrument called a sphygmomanometer. To begin, digital monitors are perhaps the most used these days, where they are used on the wrist or sometimes on the index finger; they are activated by a button and don’t require you to do anything else than wait for the results.
These devices read blood pressure based on variations in the volume of blood found in the arteries (2). Health professionals advise you to be careful when using digital monitors like this due to their slight inaccuracy, since measuring your blood pressure on your finger/wrist is not the same as measuring it in your upper arm that is close to your heart.
On the other hand, there are sphygmomanometers, a three-part instrument that is more precise at measuring your blood pressure. A sphygmomanometer consists of a cuff that can be inflated with air, a pressure meter for measuring air pressure in the cuff, and a stethoscope for listening to the sound the blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery (found in your upper arm).
The pressure meter’s scale runs from 0 to 300 mmHg. The pressure meter contains a button for releasing the air and a rubber pump for pumping air into the cuff. The cuff is wrapped around the naked, extended upper arm and inflated until no blood can pass through the brachial artery in order to measure blood pressure. The cuff’s air is then gradually let out.
Blood will resume flowing through the arm as soon as the air pressure in the cuff drops below the systolic blood pressure in the brachial artery. When the arteries reopen again and the vessel walls collide after a heartbeat, this produces a pounding sound. By placing the stethoscope close to the elbow, the sound can be heard. You can check your systolic blood pressure with the pressure meter as soon as you first notice this hammering (3).
When the air pressure in the cuff drops below the diastolic blood pressure, the hammering stops, and the blood vessels stay open. You can take a diastolic blood pressure reading immediately after the hammering stops.
It is important to remember that blood pressure can fluctuate during the day, and you can measure your blood pressure a few times daily and a few days consecutively to get an average result on your blood pressure state.
Where and which monitors to buy?
Having your blood pressure checked by a doctor is always recommended, but for those who don’t have the means to regularly visit a health care center or need to constantly monitor their blood pressure during the day, having a personal blood pressure monitor at home is advisable.
In this article, we review the top blood pressure monitors and cuffs and put them through rigorous tests according to important factors such as price, rating, features, and cuff-size disponibility. Keep on reading to find out which blood pressure monitor is best and why.