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Blood Pressure Readings Explained

Blood Pressure Readings Explained
Those diagnosed with hypertension can easily monitor their blood pressure with the help of a sphygmomanometer. If you are looking for an explanation of blood pressure readings, then go through this HealthHearty article.
Mayuri Kulkarni
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Human heart, a vital organ of the body, pumps oxygenated blood to all organs of our body. When this blood circulates in the body, it exerts pressure against the walls of the blood vessels. This exerted pressure is nothing but blood pressure. Blood pressure is never the same. It keeps on changing, depending on a number of factors, like, body position, exercise, sleep, and emotional conditions. Thus, blood pressure changes to meet different body conditions.
Blood pressure has always been a health concern. High blood pressure or hypertension does not have any specific signs and symptoms, and many a time blood pressure readings are the only source to diagnose high blood pressure. Many individuals are unaware that they are hypertension patients. It is important for every person to keep an eye on blood pressure. The blood pressure readings explained below will help you to understand what is normal, high, and low blood pressure.
Explanation of Blood Pressure Readings
Sphygmomanometer is an instrument used for taking blood pressure readings, using a column of mercury. A blood pressure reading always contains two figures, one representing systolic blood pressure, and the other representing diastolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure which is experienced when heart pumps blood, while diastolic pressure is the blood pressure when heart is at rest. The numbers representing systolic blood pressure readings are always greater than diastolic blood pressure readings. Suppose a blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg, then, 120 represents systolic pressure, and 80 represents diastolic pressure.
Normal blood pressure readings are those where systolic reading is less than 120, and diastolic pressure reading is below 80. For adults, the average blood pressure readings can lie in the range of 120/80 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg. An average blood pressure reading is nothing but the average of the readings taken at different times. It is necessary to check the average, because blood pressure never remains constant. It changes with different body positions and health conditions. High blood pressure readings are readings above 140/90 mmHg. For a precise explanation, have a look at the table given below.

Blood Pressure Chart
Below 120 and below 80 Normal blood pressure
Between 120-139 or between 80-89 Prehypertension
Between 140-159 or between 90-99 Stage 1 hypertension
160 or higher or 100 or higher Stage 2 hypertension

The readings given in the table are for adults, and they are different for children and teenagers.
If hypertension is diagnosed after taking average blood pressure readings, then the person should consult a physician at the earliest. Very high blood pressure can cause fatal consequences, like, heart attack or stroke. Hypertension medications are easily available, and they can help lower high blood pressure. Hypertension patients need to be careful with their diet as they need to decrease sodium or salt intake. Salt acts as a catalyst to increase blood pressure. They should also follow a routine exercise plan. A regular check should be kept on blood pressure to see whether it is in control or not. Even low blood pressure readings should not be neglected, and should be treated without delay.
Blood pressure usually increases with growing age. High blood pressure can be controlled with proper diet, exercise, and medications prescribed by a doctor. If normal blood pressure readings are observed, then the person should continue to follow a healthy lifestyle to avoid or delay the onset of high blood pressure.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.