Blood pressure is a measure of force used by the heart to pump blood throughout the body. This force is essential because the nutrients, oxygen, white blood cells, and antibodies for immunity and hormones cannot be transported in the circulatory system without blood pressure. However, blood pressure can get extremely high or low, both of which can be dangerous. This article talks about how blood pressure is measured and what these measurements signify.
Types of blood pressure
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and consists of two types:
- Diastolic Pressure: The pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats
- Systolic Pressure: The pressure in the arteries when the heart is pumping
The normal blood pressure for adults is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.
How can we measure blood pressure?
Your healthcare provider will ensure that you are properly seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor during the blood pressure measuring procedure. Then, the blood pressure cuff will be wrapped above the elbow. For manual measurements, your healthcare provider will place a stethoscope over the major artery in your upper arm to listen to the blood flow.
Your provider will then inflate the cuff with a small hand pump, and as it inflates, it squeezes your arm, stopping the blood flow for a moment. The healthcare provider will open the valve on the hand pump to gradually release the air in the cuff, restore the blood flow, and record your blood pressure while listening to the blood flow and pulse.
Many blood pressure machines inflate and measure the blood pressure automatically without needing a stethoscope.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
Here are the symptoms to look out for if you have high blood pressure:
- Bleeding nose
- Chest pain
- Severe headaches
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in urine
- Vision problems
High Blood Pressure Causes
The causes can be related to unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking, and not exercising. If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can increase the risk of developing serious health issues like coronary heart disease.
Symptoms of low blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Feeling weak
Causes of low blood pressure
Low blood pressure is a rare issue usually caused as a side effect of some medicines. It can also be caused by some underlying conditions, like dehydration.
Tips to keep healthy blood pressure
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet
- Make a habit of exercising regularly
- Consume alcohol and alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts or not at all
- Quit smoking
- Minimize your caffeine intake
- Reduce stress
Are you suffering from blood pressure issues? At the 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic, we can provide you with high-quality medical services and make sure that all your needs are met. Contact our medical team to book an appointment now.