It’s a common occurrence to have your blood pressure taken just about every time you visit a clinic or doctor’s office. You sit in the chair with the cuff around your arm, patiently waiting while the cuff contracts and expands. Once it’s finished, the doctor or nurse gives you a couple of numbers. Have you ever wondered what they mean? If you’ve ever been afraid to ask, or just want to understand your blood pressure better, the quick guide below can help.
Posted by: Healthline
When your doctor takes your blood pressure, it’s expressed as a measurement with two numbers, with one number on top (systolic) and one on the bottom (diastolic), like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure.
The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range indicate that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
What’s a Normal Reading?
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show a top number (systolic pressure) that’s between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) that’s between 60 and less than 80. The American Heart Association (AHA) considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
Blood pressure readings are expressed in millimeters of mercury. This unit is abbreviated as mm Hg. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.
If you’re in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed
[Continue to original article: Blood Pressure Readings Explained]
If you learn you have an elevated blood pressure (numbers higher than 120/80) then you should make it a priority to start heart-healthy habits. This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and consistent health check-ups. This can also help avoid an elevated blood pressure turning into hypertension, heart disease or stroke – especially if hypertension runs in your family.
Other preventative measures you can take are to:
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
- Manage stress levels
- Limit processed foods and sodium intake
If you think you have high blood pressure, visit the Medical Specialty Center – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic – at Orchard Hospital. Walk-ins are welcome. Open 7 days a week. It’s our goal to have fast and friendly care while delivering quality health care.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.