High blood pressure is a serious health risk by itself. It can result in stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and aneurysm. Over time, it can also lead to heart disease and vision loss. Blood pressure machines provide a powerful way to reduce the risks of hypertension. Learn more about the benefits of monitoring blood pressure and what all those numbers mean below.
Benefits of Blood Pressure Machines
When you go to the doctor's office, you get one or a series of averaged blood pressure readings. These readings are combined with an observation of other symptoms to make a diagnosis of pre-hypertension or hypertension. One of the problems with this approach is situational bias. Some people have a phobia of going to the doctor and many others experience nearly imperceptible changes in vital signs due to negative experiences in the past. The first benefit of blood pressure machines is in creating a better average. You can tell whether your resting pressure is the same as the blood pressure reading taken by the doctor.
A mobile blood pressure monitor also gives you the ability to accurately identify stressful places and situations. This is called biofeedback. You can choose to avoid high-stress situations or test different ways to manage the stress. Your doctor is a good source of information and resources on stress management.
Basics of Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against arterial walls. Stress, high cholesterol, edema and a number of other conditions cause pressure to increase. All blood pressure machines provide readouts of diastolic and systolic pressure as well as a pulse count. Some go further by also indicating irregular heart beat.
The first number is the systolic pressure, which occurs during a heartbeat. The diastolic reading is taken between heart beats. They do not always vary in tandem, and differences between these numbers indicate certain conditions. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. Pre-hypertension is diagnosed with a consistent average between 120-139/80-89. Hypertension occurs in two stages. Blood pressure machines help with identification of resting rate and prevention of disease progression.