Healthy Moment: How to Take Your Blood Pressure 2018

Blood pressure measurement is performed at nearly all health care visits This measurement is a simple, painless test using a blood pressure cuff

Blood pressure measurement is important because the higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk of health problems in the future In this video we will discuss the importance of measuring your blood pressure, and demonstrate how to check your blood pressure at home You may never know there is a problem with your blood pressure if you do not check it Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is quite prevalent in the MCHCP population High blood pressure is also known as the “silent killer” because there are little to no symptoms associated with the condition

Left uncontrolled it can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke Blood pressure is defined as pressure on the walls of blood vessels This means that the blood flowing through the vessels pushes on the walls To help you understand what high blood pressure is, imagine a garden hose Normal blood pressure is similar to water running through an unblocked hose

High blood pressure is similar to pressure placed on a hose This blocks the water from pouring out which increases the pressure The increased pressure causes damage to the blood vessels and organs Accurate home blood pressure monitoring will give you and your doctor important information which can be used to guide treatment decisions and help reduce your risk You can purchase a blood pressure monitor at any local pharmacy

The arm cuff is the most accurate type of monitor Follow these steps to accurately measure your blood pressure with an automated blood pressure monitor Step 1: Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet touching the floor and your arm resting on a hard surface which is level with your heart Step 2: Place the cuff on your upper arm and secure in place If the cuff is too small or large, the reading will not be accurate

Step 3: Press the button; you will feel the cuff inflate and tighten Step 4: After several seconds, the cuff will deflate and your reading will appear on the screen Record the reading on a log sheet You can ask the pharmacy staff for help in choosing the most appropriate monitor Tips to Remember: Check your blood pressure the same time each day Avoid tobacco, caffeine and stress ½ hour prior to checking your blood pressure Share your log sheet with your health care provider A blood pressure reading contains two numbers

The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure readings remain below 120/80, or when the top number is lower than 120 and the bottom number is lower than 80 Blood pressure higher than 120/80 puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke and damage to organs Take care of your heart and health by monitoring your blood pressure If you are concerned about your blood pressure, contact your health care provider

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