HIgh Blood Pressure
Diagnostic comes from the Greek -DIAGNOSTIKOS-
meaning able to distinguish.
Diagnostic Aids can help in identifying an illness or in indicating the current state of a known condition.
Some examples of diagnostic aids are:
• Blood Glucose Monitors
• Clinical Thermometers
• Blood Pressure Kits
• Pulse Meters.
Every year there are more people that require and use in-home diagnostic testing. Before any of these instruments are used, a Home Health Care professional should provide the proper instructions.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
High blood pressure (hypertension) is excessive pressure exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries. It affects more than 12 per cent of Canadians (about 30% of those over 17 years of age).
In half of those with high blood pressure, the disease is dangerous. It can lead to conditions that can kill or cripple: heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
High blood pressure shows no clear-cut symptoms. It is entirely possible to have it and not realize it. It doesn't hurt and usually doesn't make you feel particularly sick, dizzy, or nervous. As a result, many people with high blood pressure can live for years without knowing they have it, while continuing damage is being done to their bodies.
That is why it's so important for each of us to. have our blood pressure checked regularly, and if it is high, to follow the treatment our doctor prescribes.
Treatment may change as the years go by, but treatment of one kind or another to control high blood pressure usually lasts for a lifetime, and blood pressure must be checked regularly.
What do the readings mean?
First of all there is no "best" blood pressure number and it is important to know that blood pressure readings can vary significantly throughout a normal, active day. Generally, our blood pressure is high when we are active or stressed and lower when we are resting and unstressed, or sleeping.
Additionally, certain individuals may have a "natural" inclination to high blood pressure. Lifestyle, too, can have an enormous influence. Diet, smoking, caffeine, certain medications and alcohol can all bring on hypertension.
The following standards of assessment of high blood pressure have been established by the World Health Organization (mm of Hg):
Systolic Normal Borderline High
139 or less 140 to 159 160 or more
(over) . . .
Diastolic 89 or less 90 to 95 95 or more
Why measure blood pressure at home?
For most of us, this measurement taken at a doctor's office is the only opportunity we have to know our blood pressure. Blood pressure measuring in a doctor's office may cause apprehension and can produce elevated readings.
Home measurement reduces the effects of outside influences on blood pressure, supplements the doctor's readings and provides a more accurate, complete blood pressure history.
The use of home blood pressure machines is simplified from what you typically experience at a doctor's office. For instance, most of them do not require a stethoscope nor any specialized measuring technique.
Whether they are manual or self-inflating, electronic monitors are quick, uncomplicated and accurate.
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