The possibility of monitoring your blood pressure at home when it is indicated is good news cause it means you wont always have to visit your doctors. This can be done in the comfort of your home while you keep a record of the measurements to show your doctor the variations with your blood pressure reading. When monitoring your blood pressure at home, it is a good way to take part in managing your health with support from your health care provider.
Common reasons to monitor your blood pressure at home
- Aids with early diagnosis
- Helps track your treatment for progress or relapse
- Gives you a sense of responsibility for your health
- Reduce health care costs
- Determine variation of the reading compared to the one done at the hospital.
Types of Home Monitors
Home blood pressure monitors are being sold at pharmacies and stores. An automatic or electronic device is recommended, user friendly. Monitors generally have same parts such as an inflatable cuff and a screen to display your readings. Using digital monitors that are fitted on the upper arm gives you the most accurate reading.
Tips for accurate blood pressure monitoring at home
- Ensure your blood pressure monitor has a properly fitting cuff size. This is because poorly fitting cuffs will interfere in giving you an accurate blood pressure reading.
- Ensure the display for your blood pressure monitor is clear and easy to read
- Frequently check the accuracy of your monitor by taking it to your doctor’s office and comparing readings from other monitors.
- Measure your blood pressure twice daily. You can take the first measurement in the morning before you eat or take any medications, and the second in the evening. Your doctor might recommend this should be done at the same time each day.
- If you exercise after waking up in the morning, take your blood pressure before exercising.
- Avoid certain factors that can influence your blood pressure reading. Take for example, blood pressure rises as a result of stress, cold temperatures, smoking, exercise, caffeine, and certain medications.
If your blood pressure is well controlled, you still need to ask your doctor how often you should check daily.
Blood pressure monitoring at home is not a substitute for your usual visits to the hospital. Do not change your medication regimen or alter your diet without discussing with your doctor first.
In the long run, you might prevent complications related to high blood pressure and enjoy a healthier life by monitoring your blood pressure at home accurately.