How to Choose the Best Blood Pressure Monitor and Take Accurate Measurements at Home
High blood pressure (HBP), medically known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure pushes against your blood vessels consistently too high. This means that your heart has to pump harder to pump blood through your body. High blood pressure increases a persons’ rate of heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke.
It is estimated that 16 million people in the UK suffer from hypertension. Sadly, a high percentage do not know their pressure numbers. Diet, underlying medical condition, and lifestyle are the major causes of high blood pressure.
However, in some cases, hypertension may be hereditary or can worsen with age.
How to Measure Blood Pressure
Tracking your blood pressure frequently will help you lower the risks of a possible heart attack; it also helps your doctor make accurate treatment options.
When you have measured your blood pressure, the final reading is always in two numbers. The first is the systolic pressure; this is when pressure is at the highest level. The second is the diastolic pressure when pressure is at the lowest.
What Will I Use to Measure My Blood Pressure?
To measure your blood pressure at home accurately, you need a manual monitor (aneroid) or a digital monitor.Most home blood pressure monitors are easy to use and effective.
These are the features to look out for when you select a monitor.
- Size- The right cuff size has to be per the size of your arm. If the cuff size is wrong, your blood pressure readings will be inaccurate.
- Cost- Most home blood pressure monitors differ in price. It is important to shop for a monitor that fits your budget.
- Sound- Your monitoring tool should enable you to hear your heartbeat.
- Display- The numbers displayed on the monitor must be legible
- Make sure it is serviced regularly- Your home monitor needs to be serviced as often as possible to acquire positive results.
How to Use a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
These are the procedures to carry out before you take your blood pressure reading.
- Give yourself 30 minutes prior before taking alcoholic drinks, caffeine, or tobacco.
- Make sure you are not feeling stressed or anxious.
- Make sure to empty your bladder.
- Sit comfortably with your back supported. Your legs should not be crossed and should be placed flat on the floor.
- Place your upper arm to the level of your heart.
- On your bare arm, wrap the cuff around the bend of the elbow. Don’t take measurements when wearing clothes.
- Take your readings
Most home monitors come with instructions on how to use them. Alternatively, your healthcare provider can show you how to use the monitor. The readings should be taken at the same time daily.
When to Seek Help from a Doctor
Only a professional doctor can diagnose you with high blood pressure. However, it is important to take your readings with you in every checkup. This helps to keep an accurate day-to-day track of your pressure to get accurate treatment.
If you are starting your high blood pressure treatment, monitoring blood pressure at home is highly recommended.