Checking your blood pressure from home is easier to do nowadays, because the blood pressure monitoring devices are more user friendly. Tracking your blood pressure is important if you suffer from health problems, like high blood pressure or heart disease. Luckily, blood pressure monitors for home use are not particularly expensive and the manual models are even cheaper to purchase than the digital ones.
Make sure you use the proper size cuff. If your arm is very large or very small, the standard size cuff normally supplied with blood pressure monitors may not give you an accurate reading. Choose an extra large cuff for big arms and a pediatric or extra small cuff for small arms.
Protect your monitor to keep it safe from damage. Store it in a protective case when not in use. Don’t let it get too hot like it might in a locked car on a hot day. If you drop the monitor, check it against another monitor to make sure it is still accurate. Check your cuff and tubing for cracks and leaks before each use. Be careful not to submerge your blood pressure monitor in water.
As a general rule you will be recording the resting blood pressure. The only exception would be if your doctor tells you to do something else. The reason for this is that stress and activities elevate your blood pressure and if you need to keep track of the readings, then the same conditions have to be ensured for each reading. You also should not smoke, eat or exercise a half hour before it is time to take the blood pressure reading. The best way to get good readings is to sit comfortably with your feet on the floor.
Today with cell phones being a common thing to own, you need to be sure to avoid it while taking your blood pressure reading since it could cause an inaccurate reading. You should also remember to sit still when using your digital blood pressure monitor and not move around while it is operating since this will also cause an inaccurate reading.
If you at any time notice the readings from the monitor are strange, then you will have to repeat the test after a few minutes. That also means that the cuff will have to be removed and once you are about to redo the test, the cuff has to be put on again.
Every now and then you have to make sure that your blood pressure monitor is still accurate. This is best done by taking your monitor with you when you have to go to the doctor’s office and then comparing results from your device to those of your doctor’s equipment.
It cannot be emphasized enough that you should be consistent in your routine when it comes to taking your blood pressure. Any changes such as climbing up the stairs can elevate the reading versus if you took it while resting. Your blood pressure does rise and fall throughout the day, but your activities can also affect the outcome of the reading.
Another way of assisting your doctor with his diagnosis and treatment of you is to keep a log or journal of your blood pressure readings. You should make a note of the conditions, such as if you were relaxed, feeling stressed or whatever the case may be, as well as record the time of day and any other pertinent information to help in your treatment.