It's important when checking your blood pressure to make sure that you're checking it the right way, in order to ensure that you're getting an accurate reading. Otherwise, you might have low or high blood pressure and not even realize it. You'll definitely want to keep a closer eye on your levels if you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, or low blood pressure, to make sure that it doesn't get to a dangerous level. To be sure that you're using your blood pressure monitor(sphygmomanometer) correctly, we've given you a guide on how to cover each basis.
Blood Pressure Monitor(Sphygmomanometer)
How to Prepare Yourself Before Using Your Blood Pressure Monitor?
Before checking your blood pressure, it's important to follow these simple steps in order to make sure that you're receiving an accurate reading. If you don't follow these steps first, it could cause you to have alarming results that might be inaccurate. You don't want to put yourself in a stressful situation like this when it can all be avoided. Below we've listed what you should look out for, in order to avoid confusing results:
Avoid Increasing Your Heart Rate:
Make sure that you're checking your blood pressure when you're body is in a relaxed state. If you're checking yourself while you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then your heart rate will increase. This will ultimately lead to a higher blood pressure rate, and won't be an accurate reading. It's important that you wait until your in a calm, relaxed state and that you're able to check your blood pressure without any distractions.
If you're having a particularly bad day and are struggling to relax, then you might want to hold off on checking your blood pressure until you can feel yourself again. Another option is to try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, a warm bath, yoga, or music. Once you're able to get your heart rate down to your normal level, you can proceed to check your blood pressure.
It's important that you don't excercise beforehand. Just as stress can increase your heart rate and cause your blood pressure reading to be off, exercise can do the same thing. It can take a while for your heart rate to drop back down to its normal level after exercising. Once you've waited for your heart rate to decrease, you can go ahead and check your blood pressure.
Avoid any caffeinated beverages, as well as food with caffiene or sugar in it, as this will cause your blood sugar levels to rise and increase your heart rate. That means avoiding things like coffee, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, and anything else with caffiene or sugar in it. Be sure to stay hydrated, as dehydration can also cause an increased heart rate.
How To Take Your Blood Pressure?
The first thing you should do is to maintain a daily log of your results after each use, or however frequently you check it. It's a good idea to do this so that you can easily share the results with your doctor. You should aim to check your blood pressure around the same time, each time you check it. The reason for this is because of the fluctuations that can occur throughout the day. If you check it during the day, continue morning routines. And if you typically check it at night, stick to evenings. This will help you prevent false alarms and confusing results.
In order to get an accurate reading, you'll want to make sure that you're sitting as still as you possibly can. Try to remain calm and relaxed. You should also make sure that your feet are flat on the ground, and that your posture is straight. Sit with your back against a chair if you can to help support your body, and to help you maintain that position until after you're done with your reading. Relax your arm and try not to tense up as you squeeze air into the cuff. Any sudden movements can cause your results to be off. Make sure that you log down your results when you're done. Be sure to secure the cuff onto your arm properly, as a loose fitted cuff won't be able to do its job properly.
You can check your blood pressure with clothes on as long as it's lightweight. Although, you might get a better reading if you're wearing short sleeves, or can roll your sleeve up. It's best to have the arm cuff right up against your skin, for a more accurate result. Remeber that anytime you feel that your results seem inaccurate that you can always try it again. It doesn't hurt to check it again, just to be on the safe side. If you do happen to check it more than once and get two different readings, then you might want to wait a little while and try again. Sometimes waiting can be the best thing to do. You never know what could be causing an inaccurate reading. It could be an increased heart rate from stress, or it could be anything else. Always double check if you aren't sure.
How To Use a Digital Monitor?
Using a digital monitor is easy to do, and is extremely convenient. It takes the guess work out of it. You won't have to try and figure out where the arrow is pointing to on the blood pressure monitor as it will display the numbers for you. If you're worried about writing down the wrong numbers, then using a digital monitor will give you the peace of mind you need to rest assured that you're getting the correct results. You'll find that digital monitors offer different sized arm cuffs, as many of the regular monitors do.
Make sure that you choose a size that will properly fit you. You don't want one that's too big or too small, as this will result in an inaccurate reading. In order to be able to keep a close eye on your health, it's important that you don't throw off your results by not using the proper equipment. If you need to, you can always try and take measurements of the width of your arm beforehand, so that you don't purchase the wrong size.
What Does a Sphygmomanometer Do?
A sphygmomanometer is just another word for blood pressure monitor. Its job is to measure the amount of blood flowing through your veins, and to figure out its frequency. Meaning that it will be able to tell you if your blood is flowing too fast or too slow. This will indicate if you have high blood pressure, or low blood pressure. High blood pressure is also called hypertension, while low blood pressure is known as hypotension.
You use the cuff to strap around your arm. The balloon shaped piece that you squeeze is used to fill the arm cuff with air, in order to get your heart rate to increase. The reason it does this is to increase the amount of blood flowing through your veins, so that it can get an accurate result. You can find digital monitors that simply display the results for you, or you can use a regular monitor that has an arrow that stops on your reading. The display on a regular monitor looks similar to an analog clock, but with higher numbers on it.
These can come in all different sizes, and colors. The important thing is that they all work the same. It has one job to do, and that's to give you your systolic and diastolic reading. You'll want to keep a close eye on both of those, as one could be perfectly normal while the other could be too high or too low, and vise versa. Sometimes they could both be a bit off, so that's why it's always good to make sure you're keeping track of both. If you're wondering what a normal reading should be, we've written it down for you here:
Systolic: A healthy range would be between 90 and 120.
Diastolic: A healthy range would be between 60 and 80.
If you find your number to be above or below the normal range for systolic or diastolic, then you should definitely write that down and speak with your doctor right away. If you're doctor is already aware of a condition that you might have, then always follow your doctor's instructions first. They might tell you not to worry about calling them unless it goes over, or under a specific number that they feel would be a dangerous level for you. Always ask a medical professional first.
On the other hand, if you've never experienced this problem before then you should definitely make an appointment right away, or go to the nearest hospital if you need to. It's better to be safe than sorry. Keeping an eye on your blood pressure should help to give you the peace of mind you need. Especially if you do suffer from hypertension, or hypotension. Even if you're healthy and take good care of yourself, it doesn't hurt to check your blood pressure every now and then. You don't have to be unhealthy to suffer from these medical conditions. It could happen to anyone. This is especially true for those with a family history of high, or low blood pressure.