Measuring Your Blood Pressure
What Is Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
If a doctor recommends ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, you will need to wear a blood pressure cuff for 24 hours. It’s connected to a small, portable measuring device that automatically measures your blood pressure at set times and records the readings.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is used, for example, to see whether blood pressure levels vary greatly over the course of the day and night or whether they are constantly elevated. During those 24 hours, you can do all of the usual things you would otherwise do over the course of the day. If you are especially active at certain times, you can make a note in a diary. Then the doctor has a better idea of how to interpret the recorded values when evaluating them.
How To Correctly Use A Blood Pressure Cuff
A blood pressure cuff is a medical device that is used to measure a persons blood pressure. It works by applying pressure to the arteries in the arm and provides medical professionals with an indication of a persons blood pressure and heart health.
In this guide to correctly using a blood pressure cuff, we will introduce the simple steps required to correctly fit a blood pressure cuff and take your blood pressure reading.
If you are seeking to measure your blood pressure at home without the assistance of a medical professional, this guide can help you obtain the most accurate reading.
In addition, there is no need to worry about complicated readings as blood pressure machines are designed to be simple to use in both clinical and home settings.
Read Also: Claritin And Blood Pressure Meds
When To Seek Professional Treatment
You should see your doctor regularly for health screenings as part of a good preventive care program. If you are doing this, your healthcare provider can see trends developing with your blood pressure and other health factors and give you advice on how to head off serious problems.
If you don’t regularly see a doctor and have a onetime high blood pressure reading, you should schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider for follow-upespecially if you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain or dizziness.
Manual Blood Pressure Monitors
Manual models are like the ones that might be used in your doctorâs office. They usually include an arm cuff, a squeeze bulb to inflate the cuff, a stethoscope or microphone, and a gauge to measure the blood pressure.
To take your blood pressure, you inflate the cuff around your upper arm. This stops the flow of blood in the artery for a short time. You place the stethoscope on the skin over the artery. As you release air from the cuff, you listen for the sound of the blood as it starts to flow through the artery again.
The reading on the gauge when blood flow is first heard is the systolic pressure. The reading when blood flow can no longer be heard is the diastolic pressure.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Symptoms For High Blood Pressure
You May Like: Does Claritin Lower Blood Pressure
How Are Blood Pressure Levels Categorized
There are four blood pressure categories:
- Normal blood pressure: Systolic below 120 and diastolic below 80 mm Hg
- Prehypertension: Systolic between 120-139 and diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg
- Stage I hypertension: Systolic between 140-159 and diastolic between 90-99 mm Hg
- Stage II hypertension: Systolic above 160 and diastolic above 100 mm Hg
Monitoring your blood pressure levels can help you prevent or delay the onset of high blood pressure and related health problems. If you notice that your blood pressure readings are getting higher, talk to your doctor. They can help you set goals and recommend lifestyle changes that can help you get the numbers back down and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Advantages Of Medicating At Night
Quite a few studies have found blood pressure drugs may work best when taken at night or, for people who work night shifts, before bedtime.
The biggest and most significant of these is the Hygia Chronotherapy Trial. It is a six-year study of more than 19,000 people with high blood pressure.
The researchers divided the participants into two groups. One group took their blood pressure medication in the morning. The other took their drugs at night. At least once a year, all of the people used ABPM to record their blood pressures.
The researchers found that when compared to the morning group, those who took their blood pressure drugs at night had a lower risk of getting a number of conditions. For example, the results suggested:
- The risk of stroke was lower by 49%.
- The risk of heart attack was lower by 44%.
- The risk of heart failure was lower by 42%.
A 2015 study in the journal Diabetologia found that taking these drugs at night reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with high blood pressure. The potential benefits led the American Diabetes Association to state in their Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes that healthcare providers should tell people to take blood pressure drugs at night.
Also Check: How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure Mechanism
Why Do I Need To Take My Bp
You may not have any signs or symptoms of high BP. You may need to take your BP regularly to know how often your BP is high. High BP increases your risk for a stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease. You may need to take medicine to keep your BP at a normal level. Write down and keep a log of your BP. Your healthcare provider can use the BP results in your log to see if your BP medicines are working.
At Your Healthcare Provider’s Office
Some people have their blood pressure checked by a healthcare provider on a regular basis. There’s a good chance that these appointments are scheduled at different times of the day.
There’s also a good reason for that. A healthcare provider will do this on purpose to get a range of readings. These multiple readings are then averaged together into one overall result. It is used to give a diagnosis, according to standard guidelines on blood pressure.
Also Check: Can I Calibrate My Omron Blood Pressure Machine
Can You Take Your Blood Pressure At Home
Yes, you can take your blood pressure at home. If youve had high readings at your doctors office or experiencing symptoms like blurry vision, lightheadedness or headaches, your doctor may suggest monitoring your blood pressure at home.
One of the big reasons why is that were trying to rule out what we call white coat hypertension, says Dr. Distel. Thats when its high in the office, but normal at home. So checking at home gives you a lot more information when trying to decide if someone should be on medication or needs to be treated in some way.
But even if your readings at your doctors office are normal, Dr. Distel suggests taking your blood pressure at home to make sure its still in the safe range.
Some people can average a higher blood pressure at home, she says. Checking it at home can help to get a better sense of where youre at on average because if you only rely on the blood pressures in the office, thats few and far between and you may be missing out on an opportunity to improve your health.
Ways How To Take Blood Pressure Using Digital And Manual Equipment
Tripboba.com Before you learn how to take blood pressure, make sure you know what numbers in your measuring instrument mean. The result of blood pressure measurement comes in two different readings.
The first reading or top number in a reading indicates your systolic pressure. While the second reading or the bottom is called a diastolic number.
Lets say, for example, the blood pressure written on the measuring instrument is 117/80 mm Hg. In this case, your systolic pressure is 117 and the diastolic pressure is 80.
If you intend to check your blood pressure at home, its important to learn how to take blood pressure first. This article will help you! We will share with you a useful step-by-step guide on how to take blood pressure using manual and digital blood pressure instruments.
Don’t Miss: Prevention Of Low Blood Pressure
Taking Your Blood Pressure
If you have a manual or digital blood pressure monitor, follow the instruction booklet carefully. The following steps provide an overview of how to take your blood pressure using either a manual or digital blood pressure monitor.
1. Locate your pulse
Locate your pulse by lightly pressing your index and middle fingers slightly to the inside center of the bend of the elbow. Here you can feel the pulse of the brachial artery. If you cannot locate a pulse, place the head of the stethoscope or the arm cuff in the same general area.
2. Secure the cuff
A. Thread the cuff end through the metal loop and slide the cuff onto your arm, making sure that the stethoscope head is over the artery. The lower edge of the cuff should be about 1 inch above the bend of your elbow. Use the Velcro wrap to make the cuff snug, but not too tight.
B. Place the stethoscope in your ears. Tilt the earpiece slightly forward to get the best sound.
3. Inflate and deflate the cuff
If you are using a manual monitor:
A. Hold the pressure gauge in your left hand and the bulb in your right.
B. Close the airflow valve on the bulb by turning the screw clockwise.
C. Inflate the cuff by squeezing the bulb with your right hand. You may hear your pulse in the stethoscope.
D. Watch the gauge. Keep inflating the cuff until the gauge reads about 30 points above your expected systolic pressure. At this point, you should not hear your pulse in the stethoscope.
G. Continue to slowly deflate the cuff.
Tips On How To Measure Your Blood Pressure
- It’s best to measure your BP in a quiet room after you’ve been sitting for 5 minutes. Your arm should be relaxed.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor, legs uncrossed, upper arm bare, back and arm supported in a relaxed position, with the cuff at heart level.
- Take 2 consecutive measurements for systolic and diastolic pressure, 12 minutes apart. Taking one set of measurements is not enough.
- If your doctor asks you to record your standing BP, wait at least 2 minutes after standing to record your BP.
- Take morning measurements before breakfast and before taking any medicines.
- Take evening measurements before going to bed and after taking any medicines.
- Record any obvious reasons for variations, such as if you are unwell, your caffeine intake, smoking, a poor night’s sleep or recent exercise.
Your BP changes throughout the day, depending on the time of day, what you are doing and any stress or excitement you are feeling. Fluctuations in BP are normal. Caffeine and tobacco smoke can increase BP and measurements are best at least 30 minutes before or after these stimulants.
You May Like: Shaking Low Blood Pressure
Digital Blood Pressure Monitors
Digital blood pressure monitors are often used on the wrist, but they can also be placed on the finger or upper arm and are activated simply by pressing a button. They read the blood pressure automatically based on variations in the volume of blood in the arteries. When taking blood pressure measurements on the wrist, it’s important to keep the hand level with the heart. Otherwise it can affect the readings.
Digital meters can sometimes be inaccurate and produce unreliable readings anyway especially in people with certain heart rhythm problems or arteries that have hardened due to arteriosclerosis.
How To Take Blood Pressure Manually: A Step
Nov 2, 2015 by Jackie Cuban
With 1 of every 3 American adults suffering from high blood pressure, monitoring your blood pressure at home on a regular basis can keep your heart condition under control. As there are a few factors to consider and some important steps to follow, in this post we will provide you with essential and well-researched answers to:
- how to take blood pressure manually
- how to take orthostatic blood pressure
- what is the difference between systolic and diastolic arterial pressure?
- how long does it take to lower blood pressure?
- how often should you take your blood pressure?
Chart indicating measurements for low and optimal blood pressure to severe hypertension.
Read Also: Claritin D Blood Pressure
How To Take Blood Pressure Properly
According to the self measurement of blood pressure method it is recommended that you measure it three times a day for 3 days before the visit to your doctor to assess the evolution: Right upon waking up before breakfast and taking medication, before lunch, before dinner. In this article we will teach you which the right steps to take the blood pressure with greater reliability are. The most important element to take blood pressure is a sphygmomanometer. In this OneHowTo article, we show you exactly how to take blood pressure.
Take it on the left or right arm and . Unless your doctor or nurse specifically tells you to take one or the other.
The first blood pressure measurement must be the first thing in the morning upon waking. This measurment is important because you are completely at rest. Thus, none of the pressure is due to exercise or daily activities.
Blood pressure should always be measured before taking any medication, we must choose a suitable place for taking blood pressure. It should be quiet with a table that allows us to put everything you need and clearly see the screen of your device.
Obese people need to buy a larger cuff. Once well positioned begin to measure blood pressure, activating our meter.
This process must be repeated 3 times leaving a rest period of about 2 minutes. When we have three blood pressure results, you have a good idea of what your blood pressure reading is.
How Do I Know If My Monitor Is Accurate Or If I Am Using It Correctly
Once you buy your device, have your doctor check it for accuracy. They should check your monitor once a year. On your own, periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks. Proper care and storage are necessary. Make sure the tubing is not twisted when you store it. Keep it away from heat.
Ask your doctor or nurse to teach you how to use your blood pressure monitor correctly. This will help you achieve good results in controlling your blood pressure.
You May Like: What Causes Irregular Blood Pressure
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Blood Pressure Measurement
If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, your provider may recommend one or more of the following lifestyle changes.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active can help lower your blood pressure and also help manage your weight. Most adults should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Check with your provider before beginning an exercise program.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetable, and whole grains. Limit foods high in saturated fat and total fat.
- Reduce salt in your diet. Most adults should have less than 1500 mg of salt per day.
- Limit alcohol use. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one drink a day if you are a woman two drinks a day if you’re a man.
- Don’t smoke.
How Do I Take My Bp
You can take your BP at home with a digital BP monitor. Read the instructions that came with your BP monitor. The monitor comes with an adjustable cuff. Ask your healthcare provider if your cuff is the correct size.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, or exercise for 30 minutes before you take your BP.
- Rest quietly for 5 minutes before you take your BP.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back against a chair.
- Extend your arm and support it on a flat surface. Your arm should be at the same level as your heart.
- Make sure all of the air is out of the cuff. Place the BP cuff against your bare skin about 1 inch above your elbow. Wrap the cuff snugly around your arm. The BP reading may not be correct if the cuff is too loose.
- If you are using a wrist cuff, wrap the cuff snugly around your wrist. Hold your wrist at the same level as your heart.
- Turn on the BP monitor and follow the directions.
- Write down your BP, the date, the time, and which arm you used to take the BP. Take your BP 2 times and write down both readings. Use the same arm each time. These BP readings can be 1 minute apart.
You May Like: Blood Pressure Side Effects