How is blood pressure measured?
A doctor or nurse will measure your blood pressure with a small gauge attached to an inflatable cuff. It’s simple and painless.
The person taking your blood pressure wraps the cuff around your upper arm. Some cuffs go around the forearm or wrist, but often they're not as accurate.
Your doctor or nurse will inflate the cuff, and it will tighten around your arm.
Then the cuff is released. As the cuff deflates, the first sound heard through the stethoscope is the systolic blood pressure.
The point where this noise goes away marks the diastolic blood pressure.
In a blood pressure reading, the systolic number always comes first, and then the diastolic number. For example, your numbers may be "120 over 80" or written as 120/80.