Common Questions On Blood Pressure
by Joshua Wong, Senior Patient Care Pharmacist
Blood pressure is defined as the pressure that moves the blood, and is directly linked to heart health.
Read on to find out what you will definitely need to know about blood pressure, and do remember to take them to heart.
Qn 1: Why does the blood pressure tend to increase as we grow older?
Ans: As we age, our blood vessels age too, hence our blood pressure has a higher tendency of increasing.
When our blood vessels age, cholesterol adheres to the vessels and they lose their elasticity. This is further worsened by being overweight and not exercising sufficiently.
When blood pressure is high, it accelerates the hardening of the arteries (i.e. arteriosclerosis) and this increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Your blood pressure fluctuates constantly throughout the day. Monitoring your blood pressure daily may save your life!
Qn 2: Why does my blood pressure differ every time I measure it?
Ans: The blood pressure fluctuates with the contraction of the heart. And as the blood pressure is always fluctuating, it is difficult to get an accurate blood pressure reading from just one measurement.
To ensure you get a more accurate measurement, try measuring two to three times consecutively. The first measurement will be higher due to tension or the preparation process of measuring.
When you measure again, you will be more relaxed and your blood pressure reading will be about 5 to 10 mmHg lower. This tendency is observed more strongly in individuals with hypertension.
Consecutive measurements may cause your arm to be congested with stagnant blood, resulting in an inaccurate reading. It is hence important to clear the congestion before measuring your blood pressure again.
To clear the congestion, follow these steps:
- Raise your arm and hand high, with the arm cuff on
- Open and close your palm repeatedly for 15 times
Note: An arm cuff that is wrapped incorrectly or is loose will also result in an inaccurate measurement of your blood pressure.
Qns 3: When is the best time to measure my blood pressure?
Ans: You should always measure your blood pressure at the same time of the day, such as after getting up in the morning or when you feel physically and mentally stable.
It is recommended that you measure at least once in the morning after waking up and once in the evening before going to bed.