A person’s blood pressure is very important. It is a very serious indication of a person’s health. It is a part of the four major signs of health besides the heart rate, body temperature, and breath.
All these w together show how healthy or otherwise a person is.
Changes in any of these vital signs should not be taken with levity.
It is most likely an indication of a health problem or a need for a shift in lifestyle and health choices.
This is why it is always advised that you go for medical check-ups regularly to stay abreast of your health condition and to forestall any possible issue.
The blood pressure, however, can be measured from the comfort of the home. It is quite an easy task to perform, but there might be problems with inaccurate measurements without the proper equipment.
To measure blood pressure personally, what people use is the blood pressure cuff. The cuff, when used by individuals to check their blood pressure, depending on how the person manages the device, can have some margin of error.
This error margin, however, is very important in the medical field, and it is why people are advised to go to a clinic for regular check-ups.
Why measure blood pressure?
Some people might wonder about the justification for measuring the blood pressure. It is essential to check blood pressure regularly because it indicates the state of health of a person.
It measures the amount of force placed on the vessels in the body by the blood.
The reading of blood pressure has two parts, they are the systolic pressure (usually the upper number in the result). The systolic pressure measures the available pressure in the arteries while the heart contracts to pump blood.
The second number that’s below on the reading is the diastolic pressure. The diastolic pressure measures the heart rests between each beat.
Normal blood pressure is anything below 120/880 mm Hg. Any higher number usually means trouble for the heart and the overall physical health of the person.
Checking the blood pressure will help you to ascertain if your blood level is okay, or if you have had high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can be caused by a lot of factors, and son of such factors include
- The build-up of plaque in the arteries,
- High level of cholesterol,
- Fear etc.
Regular blood pressure check-up is pertinent. To check the blood pressure of an individual, the medical practitioners usually make use of the blood pressure machine.
If you, however, prefer to do a personal and regular check-up for your B.P, you can always choose to help yourself with a cuff.
How to manually check blood pressure
Before you can do a manual check-up of your blood pressure at home without the help of an automated machine, you will need a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff that has a squeezable balloon, an aneroid monitor with which you’ll read the measurement.
Once all the needed equipment is in place, relax into a sitting position. Ensure your arm is well-rested on a table. Wrap the cuff around your bicep and gently squeeze the cuff’s balloon to increase pressure.
Keep your eyes on the aneroid monitor. Increase the pressure of the cuff to about 30mm Hg over normal blood pressure.
If you do not know the normal blood pressure, however, you can increase the pressure of the cuff to about 180mm Hg.
Once the cuff becomes inflated, put the stethoscope inside the elbow grease, under the cuff. That done, deflate the balloon slowly while paying attention and listening through the stethoscope.
At the first beat, the number on the aneroid monitor is the Systolic pressure.
Further, listen to the steady heartbeat sound until it stops. Check the number on your aneroid monitor this time.
The value you see is the diastolic pressure, and together the two numbers give the reading of your blood pressure.
Once you have the value, your blood pressure check is completed and you can record the value and discuss it with your doctor for advice and guidance.
Things to do and/or avoid when doing a manual blood pressure check
- Use the right size of blood pressure cuff for the most accurate readings.
- Ensure the cuff is directly on bare skin
- Take time out to relax before doing the blood pressure check.
- Do not talk while measuring your blood pressure just relax
- Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor during the exercise.
- Avoid cold rooms for blood pressure measurement
- Avoid smoking, drinking, or exercising for at least 30 minutes before a blood pressure measurement session. Etc.
Doing all this will help to reduce the possible error margin by a great deal and helps you to make a more accurate measurement of your blood pressure.