Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy rate is important. There are two separate measures of blood pressure, the systolic and diastolic number. These are usually represented with one over the other. These are both important, and shouldn’t be either too high or too low. While having blood pressure that’s too low is a problem as well, it isn’t the most common one. Most people with blood pressure problems have a reading that’s too high. That’s because there are lots of lifestyle choices and contributing factors to higher blood pressure.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, you need to get it checked as soon as possible. That requires using a blood pressure monitor. These are easily available online or at your local pharmacy, as well as at any doctors surgery or nurses station. You should get an appointment with a professional and get checked out if you’ve got serious blood pressure issues, there isn’t any time to waste here. However, if your blood pressure is just slightly high, you might want to invest in your own monitor to keep an eye on it. They’re much more affordable than you might think. Either way, you need to get used to blood pressure monitors. But how do they work? In this article, we’re going to have a look and find out. Keep reading if you want to know more…
How does a blood pressure monitor work
Before we look into the basics of actually taking a blood pressure reading, we should have a look at the different types of blood pressure monitors. There are a few different ones, and while they follow the same basic principles, they work slightly differently.
All types of blood pressure monitors have a strap that you place on your arm. Most of these will be on the upper arm but some will be on the lower arm. This needs to be secured tightly in place, but while keeping comfortable. This article is a general recap on how blood pressure monitors work, but make sure you follow the specific instruction that comes with your individual unit for any differences it might have. Also, make sure you’re relaxed and in a healthy state. Don’t check your blood pressure multiple times in a row, either.
When you put the strap or cuff around your arm, the next step is to pump the monitor. That’s in order to cut off your blood flow at a certain point so a measurement can be taken. This is where the type of blood pressure monitor you’re using start to vary.
Electronic blood pressure monitors
Most modern blood pressure monitors these days are automatic. You’ll strap yourself into the monitor and then sit back and relax while pressing a button. Using battery power, these units will then automatically fill the strap with air to inflate and cut off your blood flow at the appropriate point. An automatic reading will then be taken. This might only take a minute or so. The reading will then be displayed on the screen. You can either make a note of it or it will be stored in the machine computer’s memory. These types of blood pressure monitors are much more easy to use. And they’re also much more affordable than you might think.
Manual blood pressure monitors
Manual blood pressure monitors are becoming a bit rarer these days, but they can still do a good job. They work the same way as automatic monitors but they don’t pump themselves or take an automatic reading. For these, you’ll still strap yourself in but then air will need to be pumped manually. It’s a good idea to have someone else do this or else it might affect the validity of your reading. You can then view your blood pressure on a dial and make a note of it.
Some manual pressure monitors don’t even have a dial to read, so a doctor will listen with a stethoscope. Obviously, this can only really be done by a professional unless you really know what you’re doing. If you’re in the market for a blood pressure monitor yourself, then you should probably just get an automatic one. They’re easy to use at home and can be bought for as little as £10. Make sure you check all the instructions for your specific model beforehand.
A blood pressure monitor in general will cut off the flow of blood for a very short period of time, and take readings based on how well your vessels and pipes are performing once the pressure is released again. That’s why it’s important that you don’t leave a manual blood pressure monitor on for long periods. It could be unsafe. Automatic monitors normally shut themselves off and deflate after the required amount of time, but make sure this isn’t on for too long either.
Your reading will normally be given as a number like 120/80. This is the systolic and diastolic number. The first number, systolic, is a measure of the maximum output of your heart. The second figure, diastolic, is the pressure when the heart is relaxed. Figures that are too high mean the heart is having to work too hard because the pipes might be restricted or blocked. This is often down to lifestyle choices, but thankfully you can make changes to improve it.
If your reading is seriously high, consult your doctor immediately. There’s plenty of information on what healthy blood pressure rates should be. TO reduce your blood pressure naturally, start by reducing alcohol intake, as well as getting more exercise. You might also want to try and relax more and be less stressed if possible, as these things can lead to higher blood pressure. Another factor could be red and processed meat, as well as high salt intake. These can lead to high blood pressure as well, so you might want to eat a bit more healthily.