Checking your blood pressure at home by yourself can show a different result from the one taken by a nurse at a clinic. Even if both devices are accurate, many factors can influence the readings. Therefore, it is advisable for people with blood pressure problems to keep track of their blood pressure at home.
People with “white-coat hypertension” tend to get extremely anxious when surrounded by doctors and nurses. Their blood pressure spikes as soon as they are in the doctor’s office, even when they do not actually have hypertension. If they do not monitor their blood pressure at home, they will be possibly misdiagnosed as having hypertension. Some others have “white-coat hypotension”, which is extremely dangerous since they may have high blood pressure. But the doctor cannot know because their pressure will automatically drop during their visit.
The first step is to buy the right monitor. Although there are a variety of monitoring devices on the market, few of them are actually accurate. You may ask your doctor for recommendations on a good device. After you buy it, bring your device to the doctor’s office to check if it agrees with the one used in there.
How to measure your blood pressure?
You should find a quiet place to measure your blood pressure. Find a comfortable chair, and rest on it for a while with your arm rest at the heart level. Remember to empty your bladder before checking your blood pressure since a full bladder might affect the result. Remove any tight clothing. After 10 minutes, sit up with your back straight and legs uncrossed.
Both manual and digital monitors are good to go. You just need to read the directions carefully. All monitors come with a step-by-step instruction booklet. Make sure you do everything the way it is supposed to be to get the most accurate reading. Learning how to use the monitor is as important as buying a good one. Even a pricey monitor will not do you any good if you misuse it.
Your diet and activities during the day have an impact on your blood pressure. As a result, the best readings would be the ones taken in the morning and right before bed. One measurement a time is usually not enough. Do it twice each time for the most precise reading. Keep a record of your readings to see how you are doing by writing down the date, time and numbers. If you have just been through any special situation or stressful even, put it down too. Your emotions can significantly affect your blood pressure.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: November 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertension-home-monitoring#1. Assessed October 10, 2016.