Here's Why You Must Measure Blood Pressure Correctly And Get Accurate Readings


According to a doctor, when you fail to measure blood pressure correctly, it can be hard for you to get the correct diagnosis and, thereby, the proper medication.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

Hypertension or high blood pressure is common these days, affecting people in their 30s and 40s, besides the elderly. In the presence of stress and sedentary lifestyle, and the absence of exercise, high blood pressure has permeated lives. It is, therefore, important to accurately measure and monitor blood pressure, in order to control it and improve the quality of life. Scroll down to find out more.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Lately, many people have succumbed to cardiovascular diseases, and over half of heart disease and stroke deaths are linked to high blood pressure, says Dr Sameer V Pagad, senior consultant interventional cardiologist, Gleneagles Hospitals Parel. He adds that maintaining a normal blood pressure reading can be helpful. Having high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack, kidney failure, brain hemorrhage, or even dementia, he warns.

What Is Hypertension Or High Blood Pressure?

According to the doctor, hypertension occurs when the body's blood vessels have 'constantly high pressure' and the 'force of blood' is increased against the 'wall of arteries'. "The higher the pressure, the harder it is for the heart to pump blood. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg; high blood pressure is over 135/80 mm Hg," he states, adding that if one fails to control their stress levels, they may suffer from hypertension issues.

Measuring Blood Pressure

Why is it important to measure blood pressure accurately? Dr Sameer explains that when you fail to measure blood pressure correctly, it can be hard for you to get the correct diagnosis and, thereby, the proper medication. "Even the slightest change in the blood pressure levels [warrant a visit] to a doctor. Monitoring blood pressure on a regular basis will help you take charge of your health and tackle any issues related to high blood pressure.

Where Can You Get Blood Pressure Measured?

You can get it checked at the doctor’s clinic, or at home with the help of a blood pressure machine that is readily available.

Factors That Lead To Wrong Readings

Sometimes, one may feel anxious just before a reading, or even stressed. This is called 'white coat syndrome'. According to the doctor, it happens when the blood pressure is checked at the clinic, and the patient panics.

Things To Follow During BP Reading

Maintain the correct posture. Rest your arm on a table at the level of the blood pressure machine. Place the measuring cuff correctly. It should be noted that the BP may be higher if you eat, smoke, drink alcohol or consume caffeine 3- 45 minutes prior.

Other Important Things To Know

According to the doctor, it is important to empty the bladder and sit in a comfortable position 2-3 minutes prior to taking the readings. "Do not cross your legs. Avoid talking or moving while checking your blood pressure, and remember that the cuff should be placed on the skin and not over clothing to get accurate readings," he concludes.


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