A blood pressure reading can vary considerably due to a lot of factors including the normal minute by minute fluctuations. Biological factors like eating, pain and anxiety can also influence a blood pressure reading. Because of these factors, it is important to take the blood pressure reading using the same technique; otherwise, the result will not be consistent. Because blood pressure readings are vital tests for the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, a standardized measurement technique is used by health professionals and is also recommended to be used at home care in order to attain a high level of accuracy.
In the United States, doctors follow the American Heart Association standards when measuring blood pressure which are as follows:
1. The arms should be measured for proper omron blood pressure monitor size.
2. The arms should be supported at the level of the heart.
3. An estimate of the systolic blood pressure should be taken by feeling the pulse at the wrist and inflating the cuff.
4. The cuff should be quickly inflated and slowly deflated.
The blood pressure is taken by inserting the arm in the blood pressure cuff. The cuff is inflated tight enough to stop the blood flow. Gradually the cuff is deflated and the first in the series of sounds heard through the stethoscope is recorded as the systolic blood pressure reading while the last sound heard is recorded as the diastolic pressure.
In order to have an accurate diagnosis of high blood pressure, doctors usually consider two or more elevated readings during separate visits before actually concluding that the patient has high blood pressure.
As pointed out earlier, variable readings of blood pressure can be caused by several factors. Too much worrying, poor eating habits, air temperature changes, tobacco, exertion and pain can produce variable blood pressure results. You can help your doctor come up with an accurate reading by doing the following:
1. Avoid eating, smoking and drinking caffeine at least 30 minutes before having your blood pressure taken.
2. Wear clothing than can be easily pushed up when you have your blood pressure taken, like short sleeves or loose sleeves. Using the same arm for each blood pressure reading will contribute to an added accuracy.
3. Sit quietly with legs uncrossed while waiting for your turn avoid moving around or exerting too much effort.
4. Have your blood pressure record handy together with a list of any drugs you are currently taking if there are any.
5. Use the standardized measurement method if you are using omron blood pressure monitor and have it checked yearly for comparison.
A thorough physical examination together with a detailed history and specific laboratory tests should be done by the doctor if the blood pressure reading is classified as higher than normal. The doctor will check for any known reasons for the high blood pressure reading and subsequently find out if there is any damage to major organs that might be causing the elevated blood pressure. Among the important organs to be examined are the heart, kidney, brain and eyes.