Checking your blood pressure (BP) at home is a key part of managing high blood pressure (hypertension). It can help you monitor blood pressure in a familiar setting where you are more comfortable. Home monitoring also helps ensure that your anti-hypertension medication is working and can give you and your doctor an early warning to potential health complications.
BP monitors are available widely and can be purchased without a prescription. In general, digital monitors that are fitted on the upper arm are the most accurate. Devices that measure BP at the wrist or finger are not recommended.
Before you start, it’s important to know the right technique to accurately measure your BP at home.
1. Relax. Try to be calm and not think about stressful things. Make sure you did not exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your BP. Don’t smoke or drink caffeinated beverages. Put your cellphone away. Empty your bladder and sit quietly at least 5 minutes before measuring your BP.
2. Sit correctly. Sit up straight with your back supported, ideally on a dining chair rather than a sofa. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your legs are not crossed. Place your arm on a flat surface such as a table with your upper arm at heart level.
3. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of your elbow. Check your BP monitor’s instructions for an illustration or ask your doctor to show you how. Don’t take the BP measurement over clothes.
4. Measure your BP at the same time every day. Take your BP readings at the same time each day; a good routine would be to measure your BP in the morning and evening.
5. Take multiple BP measurements and record the results. Two or three readings one minute apart are ideal. Record the results and share them with your doctor.
Consult your doctor for more information on home BP monitoring.
Shop at Watsons for prescription medications, blood pressure monitors, and other essential healthcare needs.
References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20047889#:~:text=Why%20do%20I%20need%20to,readings%20in%20a%20medical%20office. Accessed 28 March 2021 https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home. Accessed 28 March 2021 https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/05/22/how-to-accurately-measure-blood-pressure-at-home#:~:text=With%20the%20cuff%20on%20your,minutes%20before%20taking%20a%20measurement. Accessed 28 March 2021
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