Monitoring your blood pressure at home is a valuable tool for managing your cardiovascular health. Experts suggest that self-monitoring can give you a stronger sense of control over your health. It might help you feel more motivated to control your blood pressure with an improved diet, physical activity, and proper medication use.
While regularly checking blood pressure at home helps your care providers determine if treatment is working, achieving accurate measurements is essential to make informed decisions about your health.
In an Interaction with Only My Health, Dr. Tilak Suvarna is Senior Interventional Cardiologist at, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, shared some tips to measure blood pressure accurately at home.
Choose Upper-Arm Monitors
Selecting a high-quality blood pressure monitor is the first step toward accurate readings. Opt for upper arm monitors rather than wrist or finger devices, as they tend to be more accurate. Additionally, consider monitors with features such as automatic inflation (it helps to determine the diastolic blood pressure first and then the systolic pressure.) and large, easy-to-read displays for user convenience.
Ensure the cuff size fits your arm circumference correctly, as an ill-fitting cuff can lead to inaccurate measurements.
Avoid consuming caffeine, smoking, or engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes before measurement, as these factors can temporarily elevate your blood pressure. Find a calm and quiet space for measurement, as stress and external distractions can influence your readings. It is also recommended to empty your bladder and rest for a few minutes before starting the measurement process.
Follow the rules and Proper Posture
Remember that when it comes to any medical measurement, there are prescribed conditions to ensure accuracy.
Sit in a comfortable position, rest your arm on a table or armrest so that it is at the same level as your heart.
Also read: Hypertension: 7 Foods For High Blood Pressure
Taking the Measurement
Press the start button on your monitor, and it will begin inflating the cuff. Stay still and refrain from talking during the measurement. The cuff will gradually deflate, and the monitor will display your blood pressure readings.
To ensure precise results, take two or three measurements with a short rest period between each. Record all the readings and calculate the average to obtain a reliable value.
Consult A Doctor If Readings Are Irregular
Maintaining a record of your blood pressure measurements is essential for tracking your progress, this data allows doctors/healthcare providers to make informed decisions regarding your treatment plan and overall cardiovascular health.
Also read: How High Blood Pressure Affects Eyes In Summer, Expert Weighs In
Ask your doctor to show you how this is done, rather than believing everything you read on the internet. While home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for medical visits, accurate blood pressure measurement at home can empower individuals to actively manage their cardiovascular health.
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