Know How to Read and Understand Blood Pressure Numbers

by | Jun 18, 2024

Learn how to read and understand blood pressure numbers with guidance from Dr. Manish Taneja at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. Discover the importance of monitoring blood pressure for your health and what your readings mean for your well-being.

close up of woman checking blood pressure readings

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings: A Comprehensive Guide

During your annual physical, the doctor reads your blood pressure. “Your blood pressure is slightly elevated,” he says, “It’s 129 over 79.” What does that mean, and what should you do about it?


Definition of Blood Pressure

According to the Cleveland Clinic, blood pressure is “the amount of force your blood uses to get through your arteries.” In other words, blood pressure is force of blood on the blood vessel walls inside your arteries. Your heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute, 24 hours a day, and your arteries deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.

Blood pressure is a crucial indicator of overall health. The numbers explained below, measure the force of blood against artery walls as your heart pumps. Understanding blood pressure readings is key to managing vascular health and preventing serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes.


Blood Pressure Readings-Systolic and Diastolic

Blood pressure readings consist of systolic and diastolic measurements. Each reading is measured in terms of how many millimeters of mercury (mmHg) your blood pressure can push. (Medical workers first used blood pressure instruments that contained mercury.) In blood pressure instruments, mercury is a liquid metal used to measure blood pressure accurately. When the cuff around your arm is inflated and then slowly deflated, the mercury column rises and falls, showing your blood pressure readings.


Systolic Pressure

Systolic pressure is the first and higher number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the force exerted on artery walls when your heart contracts during a heartbeat. An optimal systolic reading is below 120 mmHg.


Diastolic Pressure

Diastolic pressure is the second and lower number. It reflects the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats. A healthy diastolic reading is below 80 mmHg.


Blood Pressure Ranges And Measuring Methods

A healthy/normal blood pressure reading is consistently below 120/80 mmHg. Achieve this reading through a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management.

An unhealthy blood pressure reading falls into 4 categories of ascending seriousness:

  1. Elevated: Systolic 120–129 and diastolic less than 80. Your physician will recommend lifestyle modifications. (Reducing salt intake, regular, and stress management.)
  2. Hypertension Stage 1:Systolic 130–139 or diastolic 80–89. Your physician will monitor you closely and consider prescribing medication. (ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and diuretics)
  3. Hypertension Stage 2:Systolic 140 or higher or diastolic 90 or higher. Medical intervention may be required.
  4. Hypertensive Crisis: Blood pressure readings higher than 180/120 This will require immediate medical attention.

Blood pressure is measured using the following methods/devices:

  • Manual Devices, such as the cuff and stethoscope.
  • Automatic Digital Monitors, are typically over 90+ percent accurate and convenient for home use.
  • Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors, which track readings over 24 hours for more accurate assessments.


Why Blood Pressure Matters

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, significantly increases the risk of the following:

A “silent killer,” hypertension often shows no symptoms, but causes severe health issues over time. Hypotension or low blood pressure can also cause problems like dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, it may lead to reduced blood flow to vital organs, posing serious health risks.


Manage Blood Pressure with Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore

If you want to maintain good vascular health, understand your blood pressure readings and do what is necessary to maintain them within a healthy range. If you’re experiencing high or low blood pressure, consult with a vascular specialist. Again, as demonstrated above, managing your blood pressure effectively can prevent serious health complications and improve your overall well-being.

If you’re concerned about your blood pressure and need expert advice on managing it, fill in and submit your contact information and inquiry details on our contact us page. Our specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, at Supreme Vascular in Singapore is here to help you maintain optimal vascular health.

High Blood Pressure and Stroke

Explore the implications of high blood pressure with the increased likelihood of stroke. Discover proactive measures, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions to manage blood pressure effectively.

We Support Your Brain Health at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic


By working with an experienced stroke specialist in Singapore, you can decrease your risk of a stroke and manage potential risk factors more effectively. Reach out to the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to connect with our specialized stroke clinic and Dr. Manish Taneja. We handle various stroke conditions and treatments and will work closely with you and your loved ones to create a tailored plan.

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore


Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. It’s important to find a stroke specialist and doctor you can trust in Singapore. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist.


Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Transient Ischemic Attack: What You Need to Know

Not all people get strokes. However, for those who are well, warning signs of stroke can still happen. You might have heard of Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA), which can lead to a future possible stroke.

Friends making salad

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management


Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischaemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available.

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.