High blood prere (hypertension)Hypertension is when blood prere is permanently higher than 140/90 mmHg. High blood prere does not cause pain. Often no other symptoms for a long time. That is why the too high prere is often not noticed by the affected persons or only very late. This late detection carries serious risks, because permanent high blood prere has a negative effect on the heart and blood vessels.
What is blood prere?
Blood prere indicates the prere value at which blood is pumped from the heart through the body to the smallest capillary vessels. This pumping process occurs when the heart contracts. At maximum contraction of the heart, the highest value of blood prere is reached. This (upper) value is called the systolic blood prere. After that, the heart slackens and no longer pumps blood into the arteries. As a result, the blood prere drops again to the lowest value. This (lower) value is called diastolic blood prere. This is why two values are always given when measuring blood prere. For example: 120/80 mmHg.
120 mmHg = systolic blood prere = upper value
80 mmHg = diastolic blood prere = lower value
The unit mmHg stands for "millimeters of mercury".
Optimal blood prere for an adult is below 120/80 mmHg, normal blood prere below 130/85 mmHg. If the value is permanently higher than 140/90 mmHg, this is called high blood prere, also known as hypertension. 1,2
How is blood prere measured?
Blood prere measurement is the basis for any blood prere treatment.
A blood prere monitor consists of an inflatable cuff and a manometer, which is the actual prere measuring device.
The cuff is applied to the upper arm.
When air is pumped into it, the prere in the cuff increases, it expands and presses harder and harder on the upper arm until no more blood flows from the upper arm to the forearm in the brachial artery.
The air is then slowly released until the prere is reached at which the blood can just flow through the artery again. The doctor can hear these prere waves with his stethoscope at the elbow as a loud knocking sound. The manometer shows the upper or systolic value of the blood prere at the moment when the knocking sounds occur and the blood is therefore just entering the forearm again.
Continue to deflate until the blood can flow back into the forearm even at the lowest prere. The loud knocking in the stethoscope disappears again. At this moment, the lower or diastolic value of the blood prere is displayed on the manometer. 1,2
How to measure the blood prere yourself?
Self-measurement of blood prere is recommended as a useful supplement to a doctor's measurement.
For the self-measurement of the blood prere you can choose between different devices.
It is preferable to use measuring devices that perform the measurement semi-automatically or fully automatically – usually on the wrist or also on the upper arm.
Please read the manufacturer's instructions for use to operate your device correctly. We also recommend that you take a measurement together with your doctor or pharmacist.
What you should pay attention to when measuring blood prere:
– If possible, measure the blood prere regularly at fixed times and always on the same arm. Ask your general practitioner at what time of day and how often you should take measurements. – Sit down to measure your blood prere. – Before taking the measurement, you should relax for a few minutes in a seated position so that you can calm down physically and mentally. – During measurement, hold the blood prere measurement point (z. B. the wrist) approximately at the level of the heart. For measurements on the upper arm: place the cuff at heart level. – Do not move during the measurement. – Wait at least 30 seconds before taking a repeat measurement. – Make a note of all blood prere values in a blood prere passport.
Is the blood prere always constant?
Blood prere is not always the same, but is subject to fluctuations during the course of the day.
The highest blood prere values occur during the daytime during physical or psychological stress, for example. During sleep phase, blood prere drops to the lowest blood prere values. The heart can recover during this period. For this reason, several measurements are taken on different days at different times of the day when diagnosing high blood prere.
Also common is a 24-hour measurement, to see how the blood prere behaves during the day. This measurement performs a device that the patient wears on the body for a day.
So once your blood prere is elevated, it does not mean you are sick. Only frequently elevated blood prere is pathological and must be treated. Blood prere levels can also rise with age without the presence of pathological hypertension.