Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeFactsWhen To Take Blood Pressure Readings

When To Take Blood Pressure Readings

Automated Blood Pressure Machines

How To Take a Blood Pressure Reading

The easiest and most accurate way to measure the blood pressure at home is to buy an automated blood pressure monitor with an upper arm cuff.

The instructions for use may vary with each machine, and a person should follow them carefully to ensure proper operation. If the instructions are difficult to understand, a local pharmacy or doctors office will be able to show a person how to operate the machine correctly.

Doctors may ask a person to bring their at-home machine to the office during their next visit to test the accuracy compared to the doctors reading.

Using a high-quality machine is important, as inaccurate readings may cause unnecessary or harmful changes in medications or treatments.

A variety of blood pressure monitors are available for purchase online and in most drug stores. A person may wish to speak to a doctor about which brand they recommend.

There are apps and wrist devices that claim to measure the blood pressure, but these results are frequently inaccurate and are not a reliable way to monitor a persons health.

Apps that log blood pressure results may be helpful for people who need to take regular blood pressure tests, however.

Recording a set of readings into these apps may help doctors identify trends in blood pressure and recommend treatments.

Blood pressure readings fall into the following categories:

Blood pressure status

Whats A Normal Blood Pressure

For most patients, a normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 for systolic and less than 80 for diastolic .

At the doctors office, a systolic measurement of 120 to 139 and a diastolic of 80 to 89 are considered prehypertension for most patients. Anything above 140/90 is considered hypertension.

Away from the doctors office, a reading above 135/85 is considered to be high often, people are more relaxed during readings that dont occur at the doctors office.

Aside from white coat hypertension, other factors can cause your blood pressure to read higher at the doctors office. When a patient has to use the restroom, his/her blood pressure can increase slightly. Likewise, if a patient has to walk up a flight of stairs to reach the doctors office or is frustrated by a long wait to see the physician, his/her blood pressure may increase.

Consider monitoring your blood pressure at home if youre concerned that your regular check-ups dont provide an accurate view of your blood pressure.

If your at-home readings are higher than your target range, request an appointment with your doctor to make sure youre measuring correctly at home, and to rule out another health condition.

When To See The Doctor

The doctor should check your monitor at least once a year. This ensures that the measurements are accurate.

Only a doctor can diagnose you with high blood pressure. Contact your doctor if you have high readings for several days. Be sure to take your blood pressure log with you to the visit.

Hypotension is low blood pressure. This occurs when your systolic pressure is consistently below 90 or is 25 points below your normal reading. Contact your doctor if you have low readings. Hypotension can be a sign of shock, which is life threatening. Call your doctor right away if you are dizzy or lightheaded.

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Morepro 2021 Activity Fitness Tracker

The sleek design of the MorePro 2021 Activity Fitness Tracker makes it easy to wear anywhere, anytime. Check in on the app for a detailed analysis of your blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep patterns. Another unique feature is body temperature monitoring through infrared technology. Of course, it also has the usual fitness tracker features such as six activity modes, step count, IP68 waterproof, and notification from a variety of apps, including email, social media, and calendar.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Learning to Take an Accurate Blood Pressure Reading
  • Why do I need to monitor my blood pressure at home?
  • How often do I need to measure my blood pressure?
  • What type of monitor should I use?
  • What do my blood pressure readings mean?
  • What is considered a normal blood pressure for me?
  • What should I do if my readings are abnormal?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help manage my blood pressure?
  • Do I need to take medicine to manage my blood pressure?
  • What other things can affect a blood pressure reading?

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Taking Your Pulse Versus Checking Your Blood Pressure

While both are indications of health, blood pressure and heart rate are two separate measurements. Learn more about the difference between blood pressure and heart rate.

Systolic is less than 120 and my diastolic is less than 80

Great job! Your blood pressure is normal. To keep your readings in this range, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

Systolic is 120 129 and my diastolic is less than 80

The good news is that you dont have high blood pressure. However, your numbers fall within the Elevated category, making you more likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take action to control it. Ready to make some small changes that have big impacts? Healthy lifestyle choices are a great place to start.

Systolic is 130 139 or my diastolic is 80 89

You are in the first stage of hypertension, but there are actions you can take to get your blood pressure under control. Your doctor will speak to you about small changes that can make a big difference and other BP Raisers. In addition, monitoring blood pressure outside of the doctors office is important for BP control.

Systolic is 140 or higher or my diastolic is 90 or higher

Systolic is higher than 180 and/or my diastolic is higher than 120

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure Reading

Your blood pressure measures the force of the blood being pushed through your body as your heart beats.

The first number is called your systolic pressure. It measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart pumps. The second number is called your diastolic pressure, which measures the pressure in your blood vessels in between heartbeats.

A blood pressure reading is considered healthy if it is 120/80 millimeters of mercury or below. Any blood pressure above this is considered elevated or abnormal.

A single blood pressure reading in the higher range isnt cause for concern, but if youre regularly getting higher readings, a medical professional will make a plan to help you lower your numbers.

Elevated blood pressure categories include:

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Before You Measure Your Blood Pressure

  • Avoid things that can raise your blood pressure in the short term. Dont measure your blood pressure within half an hour of eating, smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, or exercising. These can all raise your blood pressure temporarily. If you need to use the toilet, go before you measure your blood pressure.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Wear a short-sleeved t-shirt or something with sleeves you can push up easily, nothing tight. This is so that you can fit the cuff around your arm.
  • Rest for five minutes before you take your reading. Sit down somewhere quiet, ideally at a desk or table. Have your back supported with your arm resting on a firm surface and your feet flat on the floor. Stay in this position while you take your blood pressure.
  • Make sure your arm is supported and at the same level as your heart. Position yourself so that your arm is resting on a surface and is at the same height as your heart. Keep your arm and hand relaxed, not tensed.
  • Make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are anxious or uncomfortable, your blood pressure will rise temporarily.

When Should You Check Your Blood Pressure

Should you take multiple Blood Pressure readings? How many BP readings are required?

Your blood pressure changes throughout the day. Generally, it will be lowest when you first wake up and will get higher as you do daily activities.

Since your blood pressure changes throughout the day, its a good idea to take it at least twice. Taking your blood pressure multiple times throughout the day ensures youre getting an accurate reading.

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Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure

Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.

So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart to see where your numbers sit.

If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy – this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.

Making sure your readings arent a one-off

A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.

Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.

Read about how high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Read more

More Than Blood Pressure

The new guidelines have other changes, too. First, they don’t offer different recommendations for people younger or older than age 65. “This is because the SPRINT study looked at all patients regardless of age and didn’t break down groups above or below a certain age,” says Dr. Conlin.

The guidelines also redefined the various categories of hypertension. It eliminated the category of prehypertension, which had been defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic pressure of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Instead, people with those readings are now categorized as having either elevated pressure or Stage 1 hypertension .

A reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered Stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180/120 mm Hg is hypertensive crisis.

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What Is Blood Pressure And How Is It Measured

The heart supplies the organs and tissues of the body with blood. With every beat, it pumps blood into the large blood vessels of the circulatory system. As the blood moves around the body, it puts pressure on the walls of the vessels. Blood pressure readings are made up of two values:

  • Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while the heart muscle is contracting and pumping oxygen-rich blood into the blood vessels.
  • Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure on the blood vessels when the heart muscle relaxes. The diastolic pressure is always lower than the systolic pressure.

Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury . The readings are always given in pairs, with the upper value first, followed by the lower value.

So someone who has a reading of 132/88 mmHg has a

  • systolic blood pressure of 132 mmHg, and a
  • diastolic blood pressure of 88 mmHg.

Factors That Can Exaggerate Blood Pressure Readings

In

When you go to the doctors office, measuring blood pressure is one ofthe ways doctors can check up on your heart health. The only way to diagnosehigh blood pressure, or hypertension, is by a blood pressure test.

A healthy blood pressure reading is anywhere between 90/60 and 120/80.Anything 140/90 or above is considered a highblood pressure reading, which couldbe a diagnosis of hypertension, one of the leading causes of heart disease thatcan lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and even dementia. If yourblood pressure measures below 90/60, that could be an indicator of hypotension,or low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, fainting, and long-termdamage to the heart and brain.

Because of the associated risks, a higher or lower than normal blood pressurereading in a healthy adult can be alarming. But did you know there are a numberof factors that can cause a temporary spike or drop in your blood pressure,leading to a false reading? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to preparefor your test to ensure an accurate reading.

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Tagobee Fitness Tracker Tb11

The TagoBee TB11 tracks your heart rate and blood pressure in real-time and automatically syncs to its companion app, meaning you can view a full overview of your heart health over time. Your calories burned, steps, and sleep patterns are also stored, making it perfect for daily wear. An ideal tracker for men or women, you can choose either a metal or a silicone strap for casual or formal wear.

If You Get A High Blood Pressure Reading

  • A single high reading is not an immediate cause for alarm. If you get a reading that is slightly or moderately higher than normal, take your blood pressure a few more times and consult your healthcare professional to verify if there s a health concern or whether there may be any issues with your monitor.
  • If your blood pressure readings suddenly exceed 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If your readings are still unusually high, contact your doctor immediately. You could be experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
  • If your blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing signs of possible organ damage such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, difficulty speaking, do not wait to see if your pressure comes down on its own. Call 911.

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Dosmarter Smart Fitness Watch

The three-axis accelerometer inside the DoSmarter Smart Fitness Watch allows it to accurately record your activity in 10 sport modes, including swimming. It has an all-day heart rate and blood pressure monitor, too, so you can review your health data and see your progress over time. Extra features include a sedentary alarm, sleep quality assessment, and womens health tracking.

Choosing Times That Work For You

How to take a Blood Pressure reading

The best times of day to take your blood pressure depend on you and your daily routine. Its important to pick times that you can stick to every day.

Taking your blood pressure at the same time each day is key to understanding your blood pressure. It can help make sure that the readings you take arent affected by the events of your day.

You can select times when you know youll be home and are unlikely to be interrupted. For example, you could check your blood pressure before you leave for work, when you get home from work, and before bed.

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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.

What Is Normal Blood Pressure And When Is Blood Pressure Considered To Be High

Blood pressure is always measured on a number of different days and when you are at rest. If several of these measurements are too high, you are said to have high blood pressure, even if only one of the two either the systolic or the diastolic one is high. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. In adults, blood pressure is considered to be normal under a systolic value of 140 mmHg and under a diastolic value of 90 mmHg.

When taking your blood pressure for the first time, it makes sense to measure the blood pressure in both arms, because it’s sometimes high on only one side. The values that are higher are always the ones used for assessing blood pressure. After that it is enough to measure the blood pressure only in the arm that produced the higher reading. A person is considered to have high blood pressure if the systolic value is over 140 mmHg, the diastolic value is over 90 mmHg, or if both are higher than these readings.

Table: Normal and high blood pressure readings

systolic over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic over 90 mmHg

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Beitony Smart Bracelet Activity Tracker

Those who love the great outdoors will enjoy the Beitony Smart Bracelet Activity Tracker. From hiking to running, cycling, climbing, or swimming, it records your heart rate and calories burned in its adjustable tracking mode. While it doesnt track your blood pressure throughout the day, you can take a reading using the testing function and see the results synced to its companion app.

How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor

How many at
  • Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements.
  • Sit correctly.Sit with your back straight and supported . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
  • Measure at the same time every day. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
  • Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
  • Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
and/or HIGHER THAN 120

Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.

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