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How to take blood pressure at home

At times, your doctor or nurse may ask you to monitor your blood pressure at home. This can be for different reasons. Your doctor may want to see how your blood pressure fluctuates on a daily basis or how well a medicine is controlling your high blood pressure (also called hypertension). Whatever the reason, it is important to take accurate measurements. This article will give you some help regarding this.

What do I use to measure my blood pressure?

A measuring device To take your blood pressure at home, you will need a measuring device. These can either be manual or digital. You should always follow the instructions which come with your blood pressure monitor. It is more common for people to use digital ones nowadays. However, the most important thing is to use the machine correctly to get accurate readings. Locate the pulse The common ground is that you will have to locate your pulse, place the bp cuff on your arm and secure it, and then inflate the cuff, and allow it to deflate at a certain point. With a manual monitor, you will have to listen to your heart beats to be able to record your systolic and diastolic pressure. With a digital monitor, this is done automatically. Make sure you record your readings straight away, and do not round them up or down as this affects the accuracy of your measurements.

What do I do to get an accurate reading?

Inaccurate readings
There are many different things in your everyday life which can affect a blood pressure reading. For example, if you are stressed, need to go to the toilet or have just eaten a large meal, your readings may be inaccurate. Relax
You should make sure that you are relaxed. Rest in quiet place on a chair for five to ten minutes. Your arm should be on a firm surface and your feet flat on the ground. Make sure you can roll up your sleeve comfortably. You should use the same arm every time you measure your bloop pressure, and this should preferably be the same arm which the doctor or nurse uses. Your arm should be supported, with the cuff placed on it at the same level as your heart. Avoid caffeine You should also make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol before a reading. Average your readings You can take a few readings a few minutes apart and average them. Moreover,do not worry if a reading is unusually high. One off readings may not be significant. So, just measure your blood pressure again a little later. Advice If you need help with measuring your blood pressure, talk to your doctor. You can also find more information on the Blood Pressure Association website.

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