When you know your blood pressure leans toward the high side, it can be worrisome. High blood pressure has various uncomfortable symptoms, including potential memory loss, moodiness, trouble maintaining your focus, and stroke. In this blog, we’ll share how to prevent strokes through blood pressure monitoring.
Blood Pressure Basics
Don’t worry. It’s easy to monitor your blood pressure regularly, but first, it helps to understand a little about how blood pressure readings work. The first number (systolic) in a reading tells you the pressure when your heartbeats. The second number (diastolic) tells you the pressure when your heart is at rest between beats.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 Hg. When your blood pressure reaches 140/90, you are at risk of experiencing a stroke. Early intervention is the key to reducing that risk. When you’re aware of a problem, you can get yourself to the hospital post-haste, where professionals can help reduce your blood pressure before a stroke.
Now, if you find yourself still confused, ask for assistance. If you have a home health caregiver, like those from Angels on Call, they can take your blood pressure and also show you more about using your chosen monitoring device.
Types of Monitoring Devices
There are several devices you can use for measuring blood pressure to prevent a stroke, and you need no prescription. Many people like the electronic ones over manual ones because they’re easier to navigate.
Of all the monitors, the most accurate one (generally) is a cuff. For some, however, it is also the most difficult to wrangle on their own.
To try it yourself, the cuff goes on your upper arm. It should fit securely. Your physician can show you the basics as can your Aid (if applicable). Once you’re at home, remember to:
Check your BP at close to the same time, once in the morning about 30 minutes after rising before taking medication, and once at night
- Use the same arm each time, directly on your skin
- Sit as still as possible in a supportive chair
- Uncross your legs and ankles
- Keep the arm with the cuff raised to the level of your heart. A pillow can help achieve the right height when across from you on a table.
- After your first morning reading, take a second. They should be close. If not, there is probably a problem with your monitor.
- Log your results and provide them to your doctor.
Note that some devices have built-in computer technology to record the readings without you having to take this step, or worry you’re reading the numbers wrong. A digital cuff monitor, for example, has a small screen showing you the results. Some even give you a paper printout.
Having a proverbial paper trail for your readings is extremely helpful to your physician’s efforts to reduce your risk of stroke.
Not as accurate as a cuff because you usually can’t read them at heart level, among other limitations. However, they’re conveniently portable, so you can check your blood pressure anytime, anywhere.
Smartphones offer apps for measuring blood pressure, but studies show they can’t be wholly trusted. So while it’s simple, the data you get can be terribly wrong.
- A costly blood pressure monitor may not provide accuracy anymore so than a lower-cost model. Some with the best rating cost (on average) $55.00. Most insurance companies cover the cost.
- Think ahead about your personal needs. Is there someone else in the family with high blood pressure? You can look for a model featuring monitoring for more than one person.
- Try before you buy. Some are simpler to read than others. Pick the one you like best.
- Consider, do you want two monitors? One for home. One for the office or car?
As you can see, it’s not difficult to learn how to prevent strokes through blood pressure monitoring. It takes only a few minutes out of your day and gives you peace of mind. Your wellness matters, so make it a habit, like taking a daily vitamin.
If you are having an Aid assist you, like the lovely people at Angels on Call, they can set up a schedule with you, walk you through each step, and explain the results.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational use only. It should not be used in place of the advice from your healthcare provider.