The use of a blood pressure machine is important for keeping tabs on your blood pressure — especially if there is a history of blood pressure issues in your family. Blood is the transport system of the body, delivering essentials to each cell and removing waste products. If this system is affected through increased or diminished flow, it can cause serious health issues.
What Is Blood Pressure, And Why Does It Matter?
Blood pressure refers to blood that is pumped from your heart to the rest of your body through the arteries. Blood pressure is simply how much the blood pushes on the walls of the arteries. While it is normal for blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, consistently high or low blood pressure will affect different parts of the body, and can cause long-term damage.
Measuring Blood Pressure: What Do The Numbers Mean?
You may have noticed two numbers that are always quoted when your blood pressure is measured. These readings are taken as follows:
- Systolic Blood Pressure is measured when your heart beats. This number is always written first.
- Diastolic Blood Pressure is measured in between beats, when your heart is resting. This is the second number written down.
Blood Pressure Numbers: What Is Normal?
To be in the normal range, blood pressure needs to have systolic pressure of less than 120 and diastolic pressure of 80 or less (120/80 mmHg.)
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer,” as it can lead to strokes or heart attacks without any obvious symptoms. While some people experience nosebleeds, dizziness, and headaches from high blood pressure, others don’t feel anything unusual. There’s only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: measure it. Having a blood pressure machine at home for self-testing can be a life saver.
The Main Causes Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a condition that usually develops over time, and is influenced by:
- Lifestyle choices such as lack of sufficient physical activity and poor dietary choices.
- Medical Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and pregnancy.
Health Risks Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can cause permanent damage to your heart, brain, eyes, and kidneys. Regularly monitoring your blood pressure levels using a machine can help you take steps toward lowering your blood pressure and avoiding these serious issues:
Heart Disease And Heart Attack
Over time, high blood pressure can cause the arteries to become less elastic. This decreases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart, and puts you at risk of developing angina (chest pain), heart attack, and heart failure.
Brain Problems And Stroke
High blood pressure can affect the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to brain, either by blocking them or causing them to burst. This is known as a stroke. As brain cells are deprived of oxygen, they die. Depending on which portion of the brain is affected, this can affect speech, movement, and other functions.
High blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Identifying high blood pressure is the first step to managing it. A blood pressure machine at home will enable you to monitor your blood pressure and adjust your lifestyle to keep it within safe limits.
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure is less high-risk than high blood pressure, but it can still be life-threatening. Low blood pressure, accompanied by dizziness or light headedness, fainting, blurred or fading vision, nausea, fatigue, or lack of concentration should be seen to by a medical professional.
The Main Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be caused by a range of factors, from simple dehydration to serious health issues. If you suffer regularly from low blood pressure, it’s important to have it checked out by a health professional.
- Medical Conditions such as pregnancy, anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), heart problems, endocrine issues, dehydration, blood loss, severe infection, and malnutrition.
- Medications such as diuretics, alpha and beta blockers, antidepressants, drugs for erectile dysfunction, and drugs for Parkinson’s disease.
Health Risks Of Low Blood Pressure
One of the biggest risks associated with low blood pressure is dizziness and fainting, which can lead to serious falls. It can also be an indicator of a more serious underlying health condition. If your blood pressure is consistently low, it is worth seeing your health care professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Monitoring Your Blood Pressure At Home
Why should you monitor your blood pressure with a machine at home? Here are some things to consider:
Self-monitoring your blood pressure will alert you to any dramatic changes that require medical intervention.
If you’ve made lifestyle adjustments or changed medication, the only way you’ll know if it’s working is by keeping an eye on your blood pressure.
Self-monitoring can give you a greater sense of responsibility for your health and life-style choices.
Cut Out Anxiety
Self-monitoring will cut out the external factors that may cause your pressure to spike. For some, a medical environment is stressful, and will give a raised blood pressure reading. Testing in the comfort of your own home will give you the best chance of getting your reading when you are relaxed and calm.
Where To Find A Blood Pressure Machine
Affordable Medical Supply has a range of blood pressure machines. With 40 years of experience, we are here to help your family. Contact us today at 866-484-7599 for personal, caring assistance.