A BP cuff that is too big will provide erroneously low readings, whereas a cuff that is too tiny would produce incorrectly high values. The American Heart Association releases blood pressure measuring recommendations. It states that if you are using only one measurement, then the upper arm should be exposed to an adult height of at least 42 inches or at least 110 cm.
Thus, it is acceptable to use a sleeve size smaller than your actual wrist diameter if you are using only one measurement. However, if you are taking multiple measurements over time or if you need to accurately measure your blood pressure medication effects, then you will want to get a cuff that fits properly.
False readings can also occur if a patient has bruises, scars, or other evidence of previous strokes on their arms. Thus, it is important to check for these factors when obtaining a blood pressure reading.
Finally, patients may report having a blood pressure value that seems low even though they do not take any medications. This is called "white-coat hypertension" and occurs when someone has a reading below 140/90 while waiting for their appointment in a quiet room with no distractions.
White-coat hypertension is common among young people and those who exercise frequently.
Blood pressure is considered too low by most doctors only if it produces symptoms. Low blood pressure is defined by some experts as values less than 90 mm Hg systolic or 60 mm Hg diastolic. If either figure is less than that, your blood pressure is less than normal. A rapid drop in blood pressure might be harmful. Therefore, doctors should check blood pressure regularly and treat any problems found early.
The main danger with low blood pressure is that the brain will not receive enough oxygen-rich blood. This can lead to serious consequences such as confusion, headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and even death.
In addition to harming the brain, low blood pressure can damage other organs too. These include the kidneys, lungs, heart, and legs. The more severe your case of low blood pressure, the longer you will need to stay under medical supervision. Long-term complications include blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease.
What causes low blood pressure? There are many factors that can lead to low blood pressure including dehydration, lack of salt, infection, and use of drugs that cause dry mouth (antihistamines are examples). In some cases, it is not clear what caused the low blood pressure - perhaps you just have a low blood pressure "mood".
Six Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure? Your health care practitioner will use a blood pressure cuff to monitor your blood pressure in order to identify high blood pressure. It's critical to pay attention to your blood pressure readings' upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) figures. As you age, your blood pressure tends to rise if it is not controlled by medication. Here are some common signs that may indicate high blood pressure:
Headaches, dizziness, or pain in the neck, back, or jaw that lasts for more than two days
Vision problems such as eye damage or diabetic retinopathy (high blood sugar can cause vision problems)
Heart attack or stroke symptoms such as chest pain, arm pain, tongue pain, or facial droop
Enlarged heart or other parts of the body (such as the brain or kidneys) with high blood pressure
Children who show signs of high blood pressure should also have their blood tested to diagnose associated conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
High blood pressure is very common, affecting about one-third of adults over the age of 18. It is estimated that nearly half of all people with high blood pressure go undiagnosed. However, accurate measurement of blood pressure requires careful technique by trained personnel; thus, many people who have high blood pressure do not know it.
Blood pressure readings that are higher at home than at the doctor's office might be due to a mistake in measuring your blood pressure at home or a reduction in your stress level at the doctor's office. The blood pressure reading taken at the doctor's office is called the clinic blood pressure, and it's usually lower than the blood pressure measured at home because you're not using your bedside machine at its peak efficiency during daily life.
Your blood pressure varies throughout the day, generally going up when you wake up and go down as soon as you sleep. At home, without access to this information, doctors often assume that someone's blood pressure is still within the normal range even if it's consistently above 140/90 mm Hg. By failing to identify these individuals, they risk misclassifying them as having "well-controlled" blood pressures, which would then lead to delays in identifying more serious problems with their hearts and kidneys.
At work, during exercise, around other people, and sometimes even when you think you're not stressed out, your blood pressure goes up. This is why it's important to take multiple measurements over time and under different conditions.
The first measurement at home should be done after you have rested for at least five minutes.