Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and visiting your healthcare provider at least once a year will put you on the right track to living a healthy life. However, every now and then something can go awry, and it may be difficult to figure out if you need to get to the doctor or not. Luckily, there are a few different health monitoring technologies you can use to observe and maintain your health status.
Temperature is one of the vital signs taken by healthcare providers in the hospital, urgent care clinic, or primary care physician’s office. A normal temperature range is around 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit fall under the category of fever and are usually a sign that your body is dealing with an infection. Your immune system triggers a higher temperature to fight off the virus. While this is a healthy reaction, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms. If you note a fever, contact a medical professional immediately.
A temperature lower than 95 degrees is also not good. If you have been exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time and have a temperature lower than 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it means you are probably dealing with a case of hypothermia, which can be deadly if not dealt with immediately. If you have not been exposed to cold temperatures, a lower temperature may indicate hypothyroidism. Either way, consult a healthcare provider ASAP.
Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure is another one of the vital signs all medical professionals will take for you when you enter an urgent care clinic, office, or ER. It measures the pressure in which blood is pumping through your veins. Blood pressure that is too high or too low can indicate a variety of things.
To properly read a blood pressure cuff, you need to understand the difference between the two numbers it will output to you. The first number is systolic blood pressure – the pressure of blood in the arteries when the heart pumps. The second is diastolic, which indicates the pressure of blood in the arteries between pumps when the heart is at rest. The systolic will be displayed above the diastolic on a digital display.
Here are the general ranges of blood pressure to be aware of:
- Normal systolic blood pressure is less than 120mm Hg, with a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80mm Hg.
- Elevated blood pressure is 120-129mm Hg systolic but still less than 80mm Hg diastolic.
- The first phase of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is 130-139mm Hg systolic and 80-89mm Hg diastolic.
- The second stage of hypertension is anything above 140mm Hg systolic and a diastolic pressure that is 90mm Hg or higher.
- If your systolic blood pressure is over 180mm Hg, call 911 immediately. You are having a hypertensive crisis.
A stethoscope is one of the quintessential healthcare instruments. Anyone wearing one around their shoulders is sure to look like a medical professional. Stethoscopes do serve a purpose other than aesthetics, though. They are used to monitor the heart and lungs of an individual. You can use it if you have a bad cough to see if your breath sounds healthy or is “rattling”. You can listen to your heart with a timer to get your pulse and check for arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. If you hear something unusual, it is a good idea to contact a healthcare provider.
Otoscopes are a great tool for checking the ear and throat if you think there’s a problem. If your ear is bothering you, have a loved one take a look with an otoscope for signs of inflammation, swelling, visible holes, or blockages. You can use the light on the otoscope to help you see the back of someone’s throat for signs of infection, too. If you notice swollen tonsils, a bright red through, or white streaks, it’s time to get that person to a doctor’s office.
Staying healthy requires some good habits and the right tools. When you aren’t feeling your best, though, it’s always good to consult with a medical professional. Urgent care clinics are a great resource, with three-quarters of patients having a good or excellent treatment experience, according to Beckers Hospital Review. For fast and reliable care in Springfield, NJ, and surrounding areas, call Care Station Medical Group.