According to studies conducted, about 30 percent of those afflicted with hypertension are not even aware that they have the problem. This has led some medical experts to refer it to as the centurys silent killer. Hypertension does not have any symptoms specific to the disease. Its crop of usual symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, weakness and nosebleeds can just as easily be connected with other common medical problems. Some do not even exhibit any symptoms at all. In fact, for most people, the symptoms do not even occur until after the condition has gone way past the mild stage and has reached the life-threatening stage.
The significance of this is further highlighted by the fact that high blood pressure is essentially a lifestyle disease. Unlike other medical problems brought on by viral or bacterial infection, high blood pressure progress from mild to worst depending on the lifestyle of the person.
Because of the lack of symptoms, experts advise people especially those 35 years old and above to regularly have their blood pressure checked.
Blood pressure is determined through the use of the sphygmomanometer. The machine is actually easy to use that there have been versions that were created for personal and home use.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check your own blood pressure.
1.Go to a place where you can sit down and relax. Make sure that there is a table beside you where you can rest your arms.
2.Bend your elbow and make sure that it is parallel to your heart. Some experts recommend the use of the left arm for testing while some recommend both for testing.
3.Gently place the stethoscope in your ears.
4.Wrap the cuff around your arm. To do this, slip the top part of the cuff through the metal bar attached to the cuff. Secure it by using the Velcro.
5.Make sure that the cuff is snug but do not make it too tight as this would cut off your circulation and may result to a false high blood pressure.
6.Place the round black dial of the stethoscope just above the bend of the arm.
7.Look for a little clip at the back of the sphygmomanometer where the pressure gauge is and attach that clip to something sturdy, oftentimes a hardcover book on the table. It is important that you secure the gauge and to keep it anchored and stable.
8.tighten the valve at the base of the rubber bulb by turning it clockwise to shut it off.
9.pump the bulb using slow but steady pressure until the needle on the gauge is at 20 to 30 points above your usual systolic.
10.Gently start turning the bulbs valve counterclockwise to release the air.
11.As you do this, keep an eye on the gauge and listen for a thumping sound. The value in the gauge when you first heard the thump is the systolic number and the value indicated when the thumping fades to silence is the diastolic number.