How often we have heard of high blood pressure and the plausible threats that usually tag along it? However, we do nothing about it until the time our doctor alarms us with the news. High blood pressure is a threat to your well-being and keeping it in check should be your foremost health priority. Blood pressure is a force extended by the circulating blood, on the walls of blood vessels. With every heartbeat, the blood pressure sways between maximum (systolic) and minimum (diastolic). The normal blood pressure range is around 120/80 mm of Hg, with 120 signifying the systolic pressure and 80 the diastolic pressure. If anyone has a reading above 140/90 mm of Hg, he is usually considered to be hypertensive or suffering from high blood pressure (HBP). High blood pressure can do irremediable damage to your body overtime. Left uncontrolled, it may make you end up with impairment, an unhealthy life or even a fatal heart attack. Fortunately, with treatment and lifestyle adjustments, you can manage your blood pressure to cut the risk of life-threatening complications. Monitoring your blood pressure regularly at home can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, without worrying about ensuing health problems and alert you and your doctors to potential health hazards. Here is all you need to know about taking blood pressure correctly, while sitting within the comforts of your home.
How To Take Blood Pressure Reading
- While taking the blood pressure, make sure that you are reclined comfortably. Relax for 15 minutes, before going for the reading. It is extremely essential to note that you are and your heartbeat is normal, during the monitoring. Also refrain from any activities like exercise, dancing, and using nasal decongestant sprays, 30 minutes prior to your reading.
- Roll up the sleeves of clothing to a comfortable height, till the arm is bare. It is best to take your blood pressure from the left arm, if possible. Clothing can cause inconvenience in gauging the pressure correctly. It can also cause discomfort when the wrist guff swells or even interfere with the Karotkoff sounds at times.
- Position your hand properly, until the hand is at the same height as the chest. Wrong elevations will produce faulty reading. Snugly wrap the cuff around your elbow, rest it on a flat surface and relax the arm.
- After you have secured the cuff, close the valve on the bladder and gently squeeze the air bulb, until the needle on the gauge reads at least 180. Avoid pumping too hard, as it might cause sudden pain. Keep the mercury level to 150mm of Hg, unless you already suffer from high blood pressure. Avoid talking and remain still during the reading.
- Locate your pulse by lightly pressing your index and middle fingers to the inside center of the bend of your elbow. After you have located the brachial pulse, set the diaphragm of the stethoscope over it. Place the earpieces on the stethoscope into your ears and take note of the brachial pulse. Raise the pressure till the heartbeat is no longer audible through the stethoscope.
- Now, slowly let loose the valve and wait for the cuff to deflate, while still listening to the artery and monitoring the Kartkoff sound. When the cuff is strapped around one’s arms, it hinders the blood flow, and as soon as the grip is relaxed, the blood gushes through the arm, making Karatkoff sounds.
- Listen carefully for the first pulse beat. As soon as you hear it, note the reading on the gauge. This reading is your systolic pressure. Continue to slowly deflate the cuff. Listen carefully until the sound disappears. As soon as you can no longer hear your pulse beat, note the reading on the gauge. This reading is your diastolic pressure.
- Open the valve and allow the cuff to deflate completely. If you are not sure of the readings, you can repeat the procedure. Allow a break of one-minute before repeating the process. However, if the person complains of pain in the arm, or if the arm suddenly turns white and spasmodic, wait for some more time before going over the process again. Take your blood pressure readings at the same time every day, since blood pressure levels naturally fluctuate during different times of the day.
- For digital monitors, begin by starting the monitor. The display symbols should appear briefly, followed by a zero. Inflate the cuff by pumping it. Inflate till the needle in the gauge reads 30 points (mm Hg) above your expected systolic pressure. Sit still and watch till the beep goes on. Note the reading and allow the cuff to deflate.