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What is a Blood Pressure Gauge?

Article Details
  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A blood pressure gauge measures how strongly the blood flows through the arteries. This instrument is part of a blood pressure monitor. This medical device has a fabric arm cuff that fits over the upper arm. The cuff is also placed over an artery on the inside of the arm, which is inflated with air. Air gently restricts the artery, allowing the blood pressure to be measured.

The blood pressure monitor has a long, flexible tube that is connected to the fabric cuff as well as the visual monitor. This tubing is used to send pressure to the monitor, where it is recorded. Numbers will be seen on either the blood pressure gauge or on a digital screen.

Blood pressure is measured with a pair of numbers. These numbers represent the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure. The average blood pressure reading is typically 120/80, which is considered normal.

The blood pressure gauge is used to keep the blood pressure under control. A blood pressure monitor is mainly used by people who suffer with high blood pressure. When the systolic pressure number rises, this is usually an indication of high blood pressure. If the blood pressure gauge reads above 120/80 for an extended period of time, a patient has a higher risk for reoccurring health problems. These health problems can worsen if the high blood pressure is not detected.

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In order to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, a blood pressure gauge must be used consistently. Blood pressure numbers can vary depending on the time of day, so readings have to be documented for a period of time before a diagnosis can be made. Infants, teenagers, and adults can all have different readings. Small children have lower blood pressure readings and as a person ages, blood pressure readings typically begin to rise. Pregnant women and people who have thyroid or kidney disease can have temporary high blood pressure.

Using a blood pressure gauge every day, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lower high blood pressure. Exercise and a healthy diet can also decrease these numbers. A physician will normally prescribe blood pressure medications that also help to keep the blood pressure down. These medications will either remove the excess salt in the body to lower pressure or work to relax the heart beat, which also decreases high blood pressure. Diuretics and beta blocker drugs are used to achieve this.

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