Measuring Your Blood Pressure at Home
Abnormal blood pressure can lead to a number of health risks and complications. Hence, it is vital that adults suffering from high/ low blood pressure take the necessary precautions to keep their stats under control. At-home devices like the LOOKEE® Blood Pressure Monitors play an essential role in identifying abnormal levels, allowing patients to understand their condition and receive the appropriate treatment.
Hypertension in Older Adults
Hypertension occurs when the blood constantly experiences a high level of resistance as it moves through the narrow human blood vessels, also referred to as the arteries. The more narrow the arteries are, the higher a person's blood pressure will be. The condition has become more common over the years, and according to the American College of Cardiology, almost half of the U.S population currently suffers from hypertension.
There are two types of hypertension, namely essential and secondary. Essential hypertension is the most common form of high blood pressure and can occur as a result of obesity, high alcohol consumption, diabetes, and high sodium intake. However, some individuals are more predisposed to the condition, such as people over the age of 65, Hispanic and black racial groups, and those who have inherited the condition from previous generations.
In comparison to secondary hypertension, essential hypertension develops at a more gradual pace while the latter occurs more rapidly. Individuals can develop secondary hypertension due to several conditions, some of which include congenital heart defects, kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnea, medication side effects.
Progression of Hypertension
Elevation: Blood pressure readings will move from healthy levels and begin increasing above 120/80 mmHg. Elevated readings have a systolic number between 120 and 129 mmHg and a diastolic number that is less than 80 mmHg. At this point, health professionals suggest lifestyle changes as elevated blood pressure levels can be treated without the use of medication through diet and exercise.
Stage 1 hypertension: The systolic number reads between 130 and 139 m Hg, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89 mmHg.
Stage 2 hypertension: The systolic number is 140 mm Hg or higher, or the diastolic number is 90 mm Hg or higher.
Hypertensive crisis: The systolic number is over 180 mm Hg, or the diastolic number is over 120 mm Hg. These readings alert the need for immediate medical attention, especially when symptoms such as shortness of breath, blurry vision, and chest pain occur.
Low Blood Pressure
Although presumed to be less worrying than hypertension, low blood pressure is still a sign of abnormal blood pressure levels. High or low, both can negatively affect the human body.
Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure occurs when blood pressure levels drop below 120/80 mmHg. There are many causes of low blood pressure, some of which include severe blood loss, infection, fluid loss, or damage to the heart. Age is also a determining factor as the arteries begin to stiffen as a person gets older, causing a drop in pressure levels. Damage to the adrenal glands can lead to lower sodium levels in the body, also causing a drop in blood pressure.
How To Take A Blood Pressure Reading using the LOOKEE® A2 Premium LED Automatic Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Blood pressure can tell you a lot about your health and can notify you if you need to take any action. With LOOKEE®'s Blood Pressure Monitor, you can always be prepared. Its super simple and easy-to-use design makes it friendly for everyone to use - young or elderly.
- Place the cuff around your left upper arm. Keep your arm at the same height as your heart.
- Make sure the cuff is around 2 - 3 cm above your elbow crease.
- Then velcro it into place, with enough space to fit two fingers in, palm up.
- Press the STOP/START button. The device will automatically take all the measurements.
- Once the device is done gathering data, it will automatically release pressure.
- Now that the measurement is complete. you can remove the cuff.
How To Check Past Results
- Press the MEM button. The device will automatically show the average value of the last 3 measurements.
- Press the MEM button again to see the results of the last 60 measurements of each user.
- Once you have gathered all the desired data, you can shut down the device.
Interpreting your blood pressure readings
After you have received the results of your blood pressure reading, the monitor will display two numbers:
- The systolic pressure, also known as the pressure experienced when the heart pumps blood out.
- The diastolic pressure, which is the pressure experienced when the heart is resting between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Systolic pressure will always be presented first, and it will be significantly higher than the diastolic pressure. For example, a reading that shows "140 over 90" or 140/90mmHg indicates a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
The highest number is always the systolic pressure, and it's always given first. For example, a blood pressure reading displayed as "120 over 80" or 120/80mmHg means a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.
As a general guide:
- 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg are considered normal blood pressure levels.
- 140/90mmHg or higher indicates high blood pressure levels and a possible risk of developing hypertension.
- 90/60mmHg or lower indicates low blood pressure levels.