There are no hard and fast figures which represent a normal blood pressure. And very often doctors and other experts cannot even decide between them what an ideal blood pressure range is for an adult.
However it is usually agreed that somewhere between 110/70 and 125/80 is considered to be an average blood pressure for a grown person, though someone with naturally low blood pressure may be closer to a range of 100/60
A blood pressure of 140/90 is considered to be high, though as a person gets older, this falls into the more normal range for people.
Blood doesn’t circulate in an even stream around the body, but travels in a constant series of spurts. Therefore the pressure peaks in the blood vessels just after a heart beat and then ebbs until the next one. This is a continuous process.
The two blood pressure figures represent the pressures when the forces are at their peak and at their lowest ebb. The stronger the arteries are, the more they resist the force of the blood and the lower the blood pressure.
As a person gets older, and the elasticity of their arteries weakens, the figures tend to rise. However the lower figure should still be under 90 until that person at least reaches their sixties.
Many studies looking at blood pressure in both black and white people have found there is a higher prevalence of hypertension (High blood pressure) in black people than there is in white. This has led to further research in determining whether this is racially determined or just based on socioeconomic and dietary factors.
Some people suffering high blood pressure may find they just can’t pinpoint a cause for their problem. They may be fit, have a very healthy lifestyle yet their blood pressure remains consistently high for no apparent reason. This is called Primary or essential high blood pressure. However if the raised blood pressure is due to an underlying medical problem, it is known as Secondary High Blood Pressure.
Nearly one in four people in the Western world have high blood pressure. Many people don’t appreciate it is a dangerous condition that can lead to a heart attack kidney failure or stroke if it is left untreated. Yet there are thousands of people unaware they have high blood pressure who are walking around with a lethal time bomb ticking away inside them.
Blood Pressure Monitors
Blood pressure monitors allow you to keep track of your own blood pressure, in the peace and quiet of your own home, without having to go to the doctor. This will put you in control of your own health, so that you can look for signs of your blood pressure changing, and then visit the doctor when you need.
Measuring your blood pressure at home and keeping a record of the measurements will show you and your doctor how much your blood pressure changes during the day. Your doctor can use the measurements to see how well your medicine is working to control your high blood pressure. Also, measuring your own blood pressure is a good way to take part in managing your health.
To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an aneroid monitor or a digital monitor. The aneroid monitor has a dial gauge that is read by looking at a pointer. The cuff is inflated by squeezing a rubber bulb. Digital monitors have either manual or automatic cuffs.
One advantage of the aneroid monitor is that it is portable, and its cuff has a built-in stethoscope. The aneroid monitor also has some disadvantages. First, it is a complicated device that can easily be damaged and become less accurate. This monitor may not be appropriate for hearing-impaired people, because of the need to listen to heart sounds through the stethoscope.
Because the digital monitor is automatic, the blood pressure measurement is easy to read, since the numbers are shown on a screen. Some electronic monitors have a paper printout that gives you a record of the blood pressure reading.
A disadvantage of the digital monitor is that body movements or an irregular heart rate changes the accuracy. You should have your monitor checked once a year. Proper care and storage are also necessary. Make sure the tubing is not twisted when the monitor is stored, and keep it away from heat. Periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks.
Blood Pressure Monitors – Why You Should Consider Monitoring At Home
Of all the organs of our body the heart is without doubt the most critical and rightly so as, if it stops pumping blood around the body and delivering vital oxygen to the other organs, including the brain, death will occur very quickly.
Despite its importance however many of us pay little if any attention to the health of our heart until forced to do so, when it is often too late. And yet keeping a check on the heart by simple routine measurement of our blood pressure could not be easier.
As with most things in life, if the heart starts to run into problems then there will be warning signs giving us time to take remedial action and these warning signs often come in the form of abnormally high or low blood pressure.
The principle role of the heart is to take freshly oxygenated blood and pump it through the main arteries and then through a network of smaller blood vessels to all parts of the body. As the heart contracts forcing blood out into the arteries pressure is exerted on the walls of the arteries. Then, as the heart relaxes and its chambers refill ready to pump again the pressure in the arteries falls.
By measuring these two pressure levels we can get an indication of just how well the heart is pumping blood around the body and thus see whether or not it is working normally.
Until quite recently it was necessary to visit the doctor's office to have your blood pressure measured. The doctor would place a cuff around your upper arm roughly at the level of the heart. He would then place his stethoscope over the brachial artery where it runs close to the surface of the skin on the inside of your arm at the elbow and proceed to inflate the cuff.
As the cuff is inflated it tightens around the arm preventing blood from flowing through the brachial artery. The pressure in the cuff, which is indicated by a mercury manometer attached to the cuff, is slowly released and the point at which blood starts flowing through the artery, and which the doctor hears as a "whoosing" sound through his stethoscope, is noted. This is the point at which the pressure in the cuff equals the pressure in the artery as the heart pumps blood through it and is known as the systolic pressure.
The doctor then continues to slowly release the pressure in the cuff and to monitor the sound of blood being pumped through the artery until no sound at all is detected. At this point the manometer indicates the pressure in the artery as the heart is at rest and refilling ready to pump again. This lower pressure is known as the diastolic pressure.
Blood pressure will vary from person to person and will also rise and fall within each of us depending on a variety of factors such as the time of day, our level of activity, whether we are feeling stressed, our general state of health and whether or not we are currently taking particular forms of medication.
For the average person at rest however systolic blood pressure will be around 120 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) and diastolic blood pressure will be 80 mm Hg. As an indication of the degree of variation between individuals, and within any one person, the normal range of systolic pressure is considered to be 90 – 135 mm Hg and the normal range of diastolic pressure is 50 – 90 mm Hg.
If your blood pressure falls outside these readings, then your doctor will need to investigate further to discover why your blood pressure in either unusually high or unusually low.
Since most of us do not visit the doctor on a regular basis, and only venture into the surgery when we absolutely have to, it can often be many months, or even years, between blood pressure checks and we could well be walking around blissfully unaware that we have a time bomb ticking away inside us.
Today however there is a whole range of very simple to operate and relatively inexpensive blood pressure monitors available for use in our own homes and absolutely no reason at all for not keeping a regular eye on our most valuable organ.
So, before tragedy strikes either you or one of your loved ones, why not take a few minutes to check out the range of blood pressure monitors available and buy yourself some peace of mind.