What Is The Importance of Blood Pressure Readings?

The heart pumps blood through the arteries to every area of the body. The force of the blood pumping through the arteries is called blood pressure. Typically, healthcare providers use a digital blood pressure monitor or a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure. The unit used to measure blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Readings consist of two sums: systolic and diastolic. Healthcare providers monitor blood pressure levels to ensure pressure levels are not too high.

center for family medicine Systolic vs Diastolic Understanding Your Blood Pressure Results

What is the difference between systolic and diastolic readings?

In blood pressure readings, the systolic value is first, and the diastolic reading is second. The systolic reading is always higher than the diastolic value. Systolic refers to the blood released from the heart with every heartbeat. When the heart rests and fills with oxygen and blood, this is the diastolic reading.

How do digital monitors and the sphygmomanometer work?

Digital monitors can be placed on the wrist, upper arm, or finger and measure blood pressure by evaluating blood volume in the arteries. The sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a pressure meter known as a manometer, and a stethoscope. Healthcare providers use the manometer to inflate the cuff and the stethoscope to listen to the blood flowing in the brachial artery.

What is considered a high blood pressure reading?

Blood pressure levels change throughout the day. Levels increase and decrease depending on physical activities, food intake, alcohol, smoking, and stress. A high blood pressure level is considered anything over 140 mmHg on the systolic reading scale and over 90 mmHg for the diastolic reading. Some healthcare professionals consider amounts over 130 mmHg a high systolic reading and values over 80 mmHg a high diastolic reading.

What does high blood pressure do to the body?

High blood pressure, known as hypertension, is a serious medical condition. Most patients that have hypertension have no idea until multiple blood pressure readings are conducted. Hypertension leads to heart disease and several health issues like:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol

These diseases can wreak havoc on a patient’s life and can lead to long-term disabilities and death. However, hypertension is not a death sentence. With the help of a healthcare professional, patients can lower blood pressure levels.

How can I lower my blood pressure levels?

Patients can lower blood pressure levels by consulting with a doctor. A healthcare provider can recommend lifestyle changes along with medications to keep blood pressure readings normal. One way to lower blood pressure is by changing the diet. Eliminating alcohol and lowering sodium intake helps to reduce blood pressure levels. For more information about high blood pressure, speak with a physician. A physician can also refer patients to a cardiologist to conduct additional testing if needed.