Many people know which numbers when measuring blood pressure are the medical norm. But not everyone understands exactly what a particular indicator means. Not only hypertensives are faced with the need to control blood pressure. Intense rhythm of life and frequent stress lead to jumps in blood pressure, even in healthy people. Therefore, regular monitoring helps to control the state of health and timely respond to possible violations.
What is blood pressure?
The blood vessels in the human body are represented mainly by the veins and arteries. The blood circulating in the lumen of the vessels exerts a constant pressure on their walls. Its strength depends on the elasticity of the vascular walls and the pumping function of the myocardium. Blood pressure is also called arterial and is of several types: intracardiac, venous and capillary. The latter two types are practically independent of the cardiac cycle. Due to blood pressure, oxygen and nutrients are carried by the blood to the internal organs.
The closer to the heart the artery is, the higher the blood pressure in it will be. The average values are determined during the measurement, so the measurement is usually carried out on the brachial artery, which is sufficiently distant from the heart to consider the data taken from it as averaged. If necessary, blood pressure is measured on the wrist, and to determine the vascular disorders – on the legs.
Types of blood pressure
There are two indicators of blood pressure – systolic (upper index) and diastolic (lower index). The first shows the maximum pressure of the blood at the time of contraction of the heart muscle, the second fixes the minimum value during its relaxation. The stage of increasing blood pressure is called systole, and the stage of reduction is called diastole. The upper pressure is often called heart, as it depends on the number of heartbeats per unit of time and shows the resistance of the walls of blood vessels. Lower pressure is called renal, and it reflects the resistance of blood vessels.
What do the numbers on the tonometer mean?
An apparatus for measuring pressure is called a tonometer. It is of two types – mechanical and electronic. The latter, in turn, is automatic and semi-automatic. The mechanical apparatus uses the sonic (auscultatory) method: the air is forced manually, and the pulse rate is heard using a stethoscope. This method requires certain skills. Using an electronic tonometer makes the measurement process very simple, so these devices are recommended by experts for use at home. In a semi-automatic apparatus, air is pumped up as in a mechanical tonometer, and in an automatic one – by software. In both devices, pressure readings are automatically displayed on an electronic display.
Modern tonometers show not only blood pressure, but also pulse, charge level …
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury and denoted by two numbers through the right slash: 120/80 mm Hg. where the first figure is the systolic index (sys), and the second is the diastolic (dia). The third number on the tonometer shows the pulse rate. Pulse measurement allows you to learn about possible violations in the cardiovascular system. In a healthy adult, the heart beats at a frequency of 60–80 beats / min. Tonometer indicators may be unreliable if the rules of the manipulation are not followed. Blood pressure should be measured in a relaxed sitting position, the arm should be relaxed, and the cuff should not be lower than the level of the heart cell.
Deciphering the pressure on the tonometer
In order to correctly decipher the measurement readings, you first need to understand what a common and individual norm is. There are average norms, but it is best to focus not on them, but on your “working” pressure. Monitoring it will help determine it, which shows the pressure for several days twice a day – one hour after the morning awakening and in the evening.
The concept of the norm in measuring blood pressure is relative, since many factors influence the result: the time when the measurement is made; psychological state of a person; medication or stimulant medication; exercise and more. However, during the conducted medical research optimal standards were determined. They depend on gender, age and genetic predisposition. The average values of pressure depending on gender and age are shown in the table: