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Q. I have an automatic device for checking blood pressure at home. How to use it?

Answered by
Dr. Spiros Theocharous
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 26, 2015 and last reviewed on: Jan 10, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have an automatic device for checking blood pressure at home. There are 3 options of which first says "sys", the second one says "dia" and the third one "pulse'. Which option is for checking the blood pressure and how much should is normal?

Dr. Spiros Theocharous

Family Physician General Practitioner


Welcome to

The automatic blood pressure machine is a good investment, and it is good to have one at home even if you are not struggling with your blood pressure.

The ideal position to take your blood pressure is with the machine located at the level of the heart. The best way to do this is in a lying position, and you should rest for 5 minutes before taking your pressure. Follow the instruction in the manual as for how to position the cuff around your upper arm or wrist depending on the machine you have.

The first value you see "sys" shows your systolic pressure which is the pressure exerted by the left side of the heart (left ventricle). The second value "dia" is the diastolic pressure which is the pressure of blood entering the right side of the heart which then enters the lungs. Your blood pressure is then indicated by the systolic over the diastolic pressure. The unit used is mmHg (millimeters of Mercury).

Ideal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg, but a normal range can be between 115/75 to 130/85 mmHg. Any pressure over 140/90 which is persistent and produces symptoms of blurred vision, headaches, and facial flushing as well as a pressure below 90/60 causing symptoms of breathlessness, dizziness or confusion should be addressed by a health care professional.

The third one "pulse" is pulse rate which is the rate at which your heart beats. A normal pulse for an adult is around 72 beats per minute. A rate of over 100 or below 60 which causes symptoms such as those mentioned above also need to be evaluated.

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