World Hypertension Day is marked on May 17 every year. And the theme for this year’s event is Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer.
Hypertension is a chronic condition that causes a person’s blood pressure to be above the normal range for a human.
High blood pressure can damage your organs and increase your risk of complications like stroke and heart failure.
Currently, 1 in 3 Nigerians has hypertension. Moreso, the illness is silent (often asymptomatic), and most Nigerians living with hypertension do not know.
Furthermore, people diagnosed with hypertension get better results from their treatment when they monitor their blood pressure levels regularly.
In this article, in commemoration of World Hypertension Day, we explore common mistakes and how to check your blood pressure at home the right way.
Some common mistakes people make while measuring their blood pressure include:
- Talking during the measurement
- Sitting without resting their backs
- Checking their blood pressure when they are anxious or acutely stressed
- Placing your arm above or below heart level
- Placing the device above or below heart level
- Using inappropriate cuffs to check their blood pressure*
Here’s the right way to check your blood pressure:
- Use a digital blood pressure machine.
- Ensure you sit on a chair with a backrest with your feet resting on the floor
- Make sure the arm you want to use for the measurement is at the same level as your heart. If not, you can use a book to support your arm.
- Place the machine at the same level as your heart.
- Wrap the cuff around your arm the right way.
- Don’t talk during the measurement.
- Note the reading in a book where you record your blood pressure.
*An appropriate cuff has a length of at least 80% of your arm circumference and a width of at least 40% of your arm circumference)
After checking your blood pressure, you can speak to a doctor here to review the result.
Click here to read more about hypertension.