Home Monitoring And Blood Pressure Goals
Home blood pressure monitoring can help guide your treatment by showing whether your medicines are working or if you need to take a different approach. A study published in March 2013 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that people who monitored their blood pressure at home were more likely to reach their blood pressure goals than those who were monitored only by their doctor.
Anyone who has high blood pressure, or is at risk for it, can benefit from home blood pressure monitoring, especially women with diabetes or kidney disease. You might also want to consider taking your blood pressure at home if your levels tend to fluctuate. Getting an accurate accounting of the variations will help your doctor better treat your blood pressure.
Women with symptoms such as dizziness or headaches can also take regular readings “to see if their symptoms correlate to their blood pressure,” Dr. Zusman says.
Some conditions can make it harder to take your own blood pressureparticularly if you have an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. If this is uncontrolled, you may not be able to get an accurate reading with a home blood pressure monitor. Even if your arrhythmia is controlled, you may need to take your blood pressure several times in a row for accuracy.
If you’re interested in home blood pressure monitoring, here’s how to get started.
Tips To Measure Your Blood Pressure Correctly
To determine whether you have hypertension, a medical professional will take a blood pressure reading. How you prepare for the test, the position of your arm, and other factors can change a blood pressure reading by 10% or more. That could be enough to hide high blood pressure, start you on a drug you don’t really need, or lead your doctor to incorrectly adjust your medications.
National and international guidelines offer specific instructions for measuring blood pressure. If a doctor, nurse, or medical assistant isn’t doing it right, don’t hesitate to ask him or her to get with the guidelines.
Here’s what you can do to ensure a correct reading:
Don’t drink a caffeinated beverage or smoke during the 30 minutes before the test.
Sit quietly for five minutes before the test begins.
During the measurement, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and your arm supported so your elbow is at about heart level.
The inflatable part of the cuff should completely cover at least 80% of your upper arm, and the cuff should be placed on bare skin, not over a shirt.
Don’t talk during the measurement.
Have your blood pressure measured twice, with a brief break in between. If the readings are different by 5 points or more, have it done a third time.
For more on getting your blood pressure under control, buy Controlling Your Blood Pressure, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
How Can I Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
SMBP means you regularly use a personal blood pressure measurement device away from a doctors office or hospitalusually at home. These blood pressure monitors are easy and safe to use. A health care team member can show you how to use one if you need help.
Evidence shows that people with high blood pressure are more likely to lower their blood pressure if they use SMBP combined with support from their health care team than if they dont use SMBP.3
Use these additional tips for SMBP:4
- Use a blood pressure log pdf icon to record your blood pressure measurements.
- Take your blood pressure at the same time every day.
- Take at least two readings, 1 or 2 minutes apart.
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How Do I Take My Blood Pressure
Before taking your blood pressure:
- Find a quiet place.
- Roll up the sleeve on your left arm or remove any tight-sleeved clothing, if needed.
- Rest in a chair next to a table for five to 10 minutes.
- Sit up straight with your back against the chair, legs uncrossed.
- Rest your forearm on the table with the palm of your hand facing up.
Automated Blood Pressure Machines
The easiest and most accurate way to measure the blood pressure at home is to buy an automated blood pressure monitor with an upper arm cuff.
The instructions for use may vary with each machine, and a person should follow them carefully to ensure proper operation. If the instructions are difficult to understand, a local pharmacy or doctors office will be able to show a person how to operate the machine correctly.
Doctors may ask a person to bring their at-home machine to the office during their next visit to test the accuracy compared to the doctors reading.
Using a high-quality machine is important, as inaccurate readings may cause unnecessary or harmful changes in medications or treatments.
A variety of blood pressure monitors are available for purchase online and in most drug stores. A person may wish to speak to a doctor about which brand they recommend.
There are apps and wrist devices that claim to measure the blood pressure, but these results are frequently inaccurate and are not a reliable way to monitor a persons health.
Apps that log blood pressure results may be helpful for people who need to take regular blood pressure tests, however.
Recording a set of readings into these apps may help doctors identify trends in blood pressure and recommend treatments.
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What Are The Different Styles Of Cuffs
- D-Ring Cuff: A d-ring cuff is a standard type of blood pressure cuff that you would usually see in your doctors office. It is a cuff where the user loops one end of the cuff through a metal ring, then fastens it to the arm. D-ring cuffs come in different sizes of small, standard and large. It is important to pick out the right size cuff based on your individual arm circumference. Please see the questions in this Omron FAQ regarding the different types of cuffs and how to measure your arm circumference.
- Expandable Cuff: The Omron ComFit Cuff is a pre-formed upper arm cuff that expands to fit both regular and large sized arms . It is designed to ensure more comfortable, accurate readings.
- Wrist Cuff: A wrist cuff is similar to an upper arm cuff however you can wrap it around your wrist instead of your upper arm.
Check Your Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force or pressure exerted in the arteries by the blood as it is pumped around the body by the heart. It is recorded as two measurements:
- Systolic pressure: pressure in the arteries during the period of the heart’s contraction
- Diastolic pressure: pressure in the arteries when the heart is relaxed, between heartbeats
A doctor or nurse can listen to your blood pressure by placing a stethoscope on your artery and pumping up a cuff placed around your arm. The blood pressure is read on a special meter called a sphygmomanometer.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury , which refers to how high the pressure in the arteries can raise a column of mercury in the sphygmomanometer.
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Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor.
- Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
- Choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice or find options at validatebp.org.
- When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions.
- Make sure the cuff fits measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
Why Can’t I Get A Reading From My Omron Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor With Heart Guide Technology
The most common cause of this situation is due to the user not having the unit at heart level. Please follow the below directions.
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Where Can I Get A Monitor To Measure My Blood Pressure At Home
You can buy them at pharmacies, medical supply stores, and online. Some insurance companies will pay for it. Medicare does not. Call your insurance company to find out what your plan offers. Flexible spending accounts often can be used to buy a monitor.
Be sure to buy an accurate monitor. Here are two websites for finding accurate monitors:
Your doctor or pharmacist can also help you choose a monitor with a cuff that fits correctly around your arm. They can also teach you how to use it.
How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home A Step
2 Minute Read
Many people with high blood pressure check their own blood pressure at home. However, you dont need to have a high blood pressure diagnosis to do so yourself.
Your blood pressure is the amount of force placed on the walls of your blood vessels as your heart pumps blood. What you learn from taking your blood pressure can improve your lifestyle and may prevent a future, life-changing diagnosis.
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What Is The Difference Between The Comfit Cuff And The D
The ComFit cuff is pre-formed to wrap easily around your upper arm. It features 360º around the circumference of your arm to help reduce measurement errors and ensure inflation over your brachial artery. The D-Ring cuff is a soft contoured cuff that is designed for more comfortable measurement. This style is typically seen in a doctors office. You loop one end of the cuff through the D-shaped metal ring, put your arm through the cuff and then fasten the end around the arm. Both cuffs fit a standard- to large-sized adult arm. 9 to 17 in circumference.
When purchasing an at-home blood pressure monitor, it is important to know your proper cuff size. To determine your arm size, use a cloth measuring tape and measure the circumference of your left upper arm midway between your elbow and shoulder. The blood pressure cuff must be neither too tight nor too loose to help ensure accurate readings, providing you with an accurate picture of your hearts health.
Who Should Check Their Blood Pressure
While anyone can check their blood pressure, people experiencing certain problems may want to do it at home on a regular basis. This includes people who:
- Feel faint. Do you frequently feel faint or lightheaded? This could be a sign of low blood pressure. If you’re concerned, check your blood pressure when you aren’t feeling lightheaded and then check it again when you are. Keep a log to see if you can pinpoint whether there’s anything going on in your life or with your health that could be causing changes in your blood pressure.
- Have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease. If you have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or are taking medications for your blood pressure or heart, taking your blood pressure regularly can help your doctor understand how the treatment is working.
- Have white coat syndrome. Some people have normal blood pressure readings except when they go to a doctor’s office. Their blood pressure may read high â sometimes very high â but once they leave, it goes back down. This may be a sign of white coat syndrome, which involves feeling anxiety related to getting medical care. Your blood pressure rises because of the stress related to having a doctor or nurse take it. In cases like this, you can show your doctor what your blood pressure is normally by taking it regularly at home and keeping a log.
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When Should I Check My Blood Pressure
A regular blood pressure check is the best way of monitoring blood pressure. You can request a blood pressure test from a GP or pharmacy, or take a reading at home using a blood pressure monitor.
If you have been diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, or have a higher risk of developing either it is advisable to check your blood pressure more frequently. It is recommended that adults over 40 should check their blood pressure at least every 5 years to detect any potential issues early.
This blood pressure checker is sourced from the NHS, all recommendations given by the blood pressure tool are supplied by the NHS website. Use the blood pressure checker as often as you wish.
Will I See Differences Between My Readings At Home Compared To Readings In My Doctor’s Office
Yes, you will see some differences. This is normal and can occur for many reasons. Some of the more common reasons are:
So do not be alarmed when you see differences between your readings at home compared to your readings in your doctors office. Discuss it with your doctor to get the best overall picture of your heart health.
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Apps To Track Blood Pressure
Although there are apps that promise to check your blood pressure without using equipment, this isnt an accurate or reliable method.
However, there are apps available that can help you track your blood pressure results. This can be helpful in identifying patterns in your blood pressure. Your doctor may use this information to determine if you require blood pressure medications.
Some examples of free blood pressure-monitoring apps include:
- Blood Pressure Monitor Family Litefor iPhone. You can enter your blood pressure, weight, and height, as well as track the medications you take.
- Blood Pressure for Android. This app tracks your blood pressure and features several statistical and graphical analysis tools.
- Blood Pressure Companion for iPhone. This app allows you to track your blood pressure as well as view graphs and trends on your blood pressure readings across several days or weeks.
These apps can help you quickly and easily track your blood pressure readings. Measuring your blood pressure regularly on the same arm can help you most accurately track your blood pressure readings.
What Is The Warranty On An Omron Home Blood Pressure Monitor
The warranty period depends on which Omron model you purchase or own. Warranty periods on the monitor itself are generally anywhere from 1-5 years, and are based on the life expectancy of the unit. Most cuffs or other accessories are generally 1 year. Please check the instruction manual for your specific unit. Electronic versions of the instruction manuals can be found in the Omron Product Support & Solutions Center.
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How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home Using
But you dont need to go to your doctor just to get a blood pressure reading. The easiest way to monitor your own blood pressure at home is to get a machine that has a blood pressure calculator and digital display.
Purchase a blood pressure monitor cuff that wraps around the upper arm. The cuff should fit well, and not be too loose or too tight when not in use. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because the readings arent as reliable. When choosing a blood pressure monitor, take it to your doctors office. They may be able to show you how to use it properly and check whether the machine provides accurate readings.
Here are some tips to follow while measuring your blood pressure at home:
- Before measuring your blood pressure, sit quietly for 5 minutes with your arm relaxed on a supporting surface at the level of your heart.
- Your back should be supported and both feet should be flat on the floor.
- The cuff should be positioned on your upper arm as instructed on the guide that came with the monitor. It is easier to use your non-dominant arm .
- Avoid caffeine, smoking, or exercise at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Do not take a reading if stressed or angry.
Blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association are as follows:
- Normal: Below 120/80 mm Hg
- Prehypertension: 120-139/80-90 mm Hg
The Company Behind Instant Blood Pressure
AuraLifes mission has been to help people better access health insight. The company has envisioned a future where mobile technology plays a central role in helping people pursue their health and wellness goals. Instant Blood Pressure is a novel system that has leveraged recent advances across industry and academia in mobile sensor technology, machine learning techniques, and physiological understanding. AuraLife has been proud to have built a technology which has aimed to help people live happier and healthier lives.
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