Measure Blood Pressure

In order to avoid
the risks of stroke and heart diseases, it is essential to measure
blood pressure at frequent intervals. Blood pressure is basically the
force exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries as it makes its way
through them. The doctors normally use stethoscope (an instrument used
for listening to sounds inside the body) to hear the sounds of your
heart pumping blood. Blood pressure is measured by following the blood
pumping sounds.

Conventionally the
sphygmomanometers were used to measure blood pressure. The
sphygmomanometer employs a column of mercury to measure blood pressure.
The blood pressure readings are taken by wrapping a cuff around your
upper arm. This cuff is inflated until the pulse in your wrist can no
longer be felt. This indicates that blood flow through the brachial
artery has stopped. Then the cuff is inflated more – 20 mm Hg higher
than the point at which pulse could no longer be felt.

this point, the doctor places a stethoscope to hear for the sound of
blood being pumped into the arteries. To measure blood pressure, the
systolic pressure is read with diastolic. Two BP readings are noted
down – one, when blood first enters into arteries with a whooshing
sound and second, when the sound is no more heard. The result is
expressed in terms of two numbers such as 120/80 mm HG and read as one
hundred and twenty over eighty millimetres of mercury.

first figure indicates the systolic blood pressure. This is the
pressure when the heart is pumping blood and contracting. It is the
measure of maximum pressure in the blood system. Whereas the later
figure denotes the diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure
between heartbeats when the heart rests and fills with blood. It is the
minimal pressure in the blood system.

the introduction of new automatic machines, however, it has become
easier to measure blood pressure. An automatic/digital monitor
comprises of a digital box attached to a tube having a cuff at the end.
The cuff is wrapped around the upper arm and inflated to a certain
level (it gradually deflates on its own). The information about the
blood pressure is provided by a sensor attached to the cuff. The
readings are automatically generated in the display.

blood pressure increases when you exert force, or during moments of
anxiousness or stress. However, if the blood pressure measure remains
higher than normal consistently, this indicates high blood pressure or
hypertension. It is not only important for those with hypertension to
measure blood pressure regularly, those of you with normal pressure
should also keep track of your blood pressure and adopt a healthy
lifestyle to avert health risks.