Blood pressure rate is a measure of the force at which your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. It is measured using a blood pressure monitor also known as a sphygmomanometer. Knowing this, you need to monitor it and make sure it is kept in check.
Home monitoring is especially important if you have a history of high blood pressure. This means that you have to invest in a blood pressure monitor and learn how to accurately use it.
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Importance of Taking Your Blood Pressure
Helps Monitor Your Treatment
To keep your blood pressure steady, you need to make sure that the medication prescribed to you by your doctor is working. Measuring your blood pressure regularly will help you assess your progress and see what needs to change. Consult with your doctor about changing your medication or adjusting the dosage if there are no improvements.
Helps With Early Diagnosis
Monitoring your blood pressure will help you avoid any complications that could arise without your knowledge. Remember, hypertension may come with other underlying conditions that could affect your health. Taking your blood pressure accurately will better inform you of your condition and you can then seek medical attention.
It Helps Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check
Measuring your blood pressure will help you ensure that it does not get to a place where you can’t control it. It will help you determine whether the changes you’ve made to your diet and activity level are working. If not you can consult with your doctor and adjust accordingly.
Helps You Rule Out White Coat Hypertension
Some people get nervous and have elevated stress levels when they visit the hospital. These high-stress levels may tamper with the readings of your blood pressure and appear as if it is high. This is what is referred to as white coat hypertension. If the environment was to change, the readings would change and show that the blood pressure is normal.
Tips For Taking Accurate Blood Pressure At Home
The aim is to not only measure your blood pressure but to do it accurately. Here are a few things to do to ensure accuracy;
1. Check the Accuracy of Your Device
Get your device from a reputable blood pressure monitor manufacturer. Once that is done, go to your doctor to make sure the device is validated and works accurately. You can now use the device at home with a guarantee of its performance. However, after one year, take your device back to your doctor again. This is to compare the readings on your device to those taken by your doctor to ensure accuracy.
2. Find a Quiet Place
Go to a place where you’ll not have any disturbances and sit quietly. This will help your mind and body slow down for an accurate read on your monitoring device. Also, try your best not to talk during your reading.
3. Position Your Arm Properly
Your arm should be placed on a flat surface and raised to the level of your heart. Find a table, armchair where you can rest your hand with ease. You might also need a cushion to aid you in raising the arm to the right level. When taking your blood pressure be sure to use the same arm each time.
4. Apply the Cuff on Your Skin
If you’re using a cuff as your bp instrument, make sure you use it on your skin. Placing it over clothes is not going to offer accurate results. Also, be sure to apply the cuffs lightly and avoid fixing it too tight. If it’s too tight it could restrict blood flow which would lead to inaccurate results.
5. Make Sure you are Seated Right
Find a comfortable position and sit down with your feet resting on the floor uncrossed. Rest your back on the chair and make sure you are seated upright. Once this is done, you can work on positioning your arm in the right way. If possible try to take your blood pressure in the same position whenever you do. This will help you get used to positioning your arm right with ease.
6. Take a repeat reading
Take note of the results after your first reading and wait for a few minutes before taking your second measurements. This will help you assess the accuracy of your device better. If your arm blood pressure device does not automatically log the results, make sure you write them down. This will help you compare the two and determine whether they are similar.
You don’t have to wait for your doctor’s appointment to get your blood pressure measured. You can easily do it at home provided you follow the tips provided to ensure accuracy. It may take you a few tries before you get the hang of it but you will get there. Remember in case of any concerns about your device’s accuracy, just go to your doctor and get the help you need.
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