Have you ever wondered why your doctor will check your blood pressure repeatedly during your annual examination? What is a normal blood pressure reading? Blood pressure is the pressure that the blood pushes against the artery wall when the artery takes blood away from the heart. Long-term elevated blood pressure or hypertension will bring pressure to the arteries and heart and is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
1. The application of a blood pressure monitor
Nearly half of adults in the United States (47%) have high blood pressure or are taking hypertension drugs. Most patients with hypertension have no symptoms, and problems can only be found through screening blood pressure tests. The United States Preventive Services Work Group recommends that adults aged 40 or older and at increased risk be screened for hypertension annually. For adults aged 18 to 29 who do not increase the risk of hypertension, a low screening frequency (every 3 to 5 years) is appropriate. Some risk factors for hypertension include family history, aging, black race, obesity, or lifestyle factors, such as a high sodium diet, lack of exercise, excessive drinking, or smoking.
You can measure your blood pressure in many ways, such as by members of the medical team in the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, or the blood pressure monitor you can use yourself.
To get an accurate reading, please sit in a comfortable chair and support your back for at least 10 minutes before reading. Place your feet flat on the ground and put your arms on a table at chest height (heart level) with a cuff. The blood pressure monitor should be close to your skin, not your clothes, and avoid talking during measurement.
If your blood pressure is very high, you can write down various readings of the blood pressure monitor at different times of the day and keep a log so that you can discuss the next treatment measures with your health care team.
2. Using a blood pressure monitor at home
Some people will have higher blood pressure readings when they see a doctor or dental clinic. Are these readings real or the result of stress-related to these conditions? “White coat hypertension” means that the patient’s blood pressure reading rises in the clinic, but the reading at home is normal. Your doctor may ask you to self-measure your blood pressure, which means that you can use the blood pressure monitor to monitor your blood pressure reading in a more relaxed environment.
Other people diagnosed with hypertension may notice lower readings at home than in the doctor’s office. Using your own blood pressure monitor at home can be a way to show proper blood pressure control to avoid increasing the burden of drugs. There is evidence that patients with hypertension are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use blood pressure monitoring combined with the support of their medical team than if they do not use blood pressure monitors.