Welcome To Our Home Monitoring Resource Hub
Here you can find resources for home monitoring, see our simple steps to get an accurate reading and make the most out of home monitoring.
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The first step to managing your blood pressure is to Know Your Numbers! Watch our video to see how to measure your blood pressure at home and use our tips and resources below to check your own blood pressure at home.
How Do You Check Your Blood Pressure With Your Fingers
Most doctors recommend the use of a blood pressure machine to check blood pressure. An individual may check heart rate with their fingers, but not blood pressure. Data shows checking blood pressure using fingers may not be accurate though there is an obscure method to correlate the pulse reading with systolic blood pressure. Blood pressure must be always measured using validated equipment.
Place the fingers on the inside of the wrist to locate the pulse. Now, take two fingers and place them just below the wrist creases on the thumb side of the hand. A strong pulse felt at the wrist correlates to the systolic blood pressure of at least 80 mmHg. This method is not always correct and hence not recommended.
It is important to use the correct technique to obtain an accurate measurement. Blood pressure is the force the blood exerts on the sides of the blood vessels as it moves ahead and is an important indicator of health. The pulse will give the basic information required to estimate the systolic blood pressure . Keep in mind this is a very rough estimate and only indicates if the systolic blood pressure is not low. Blood pressure monitoring should be done with a cuff and a stethoscope. However, recent advances in technology have made budget-friendly automatic blood pressure monitors easily available in pharmacies.
Measuring Blood Pressure With A Sphygmomanometer
A sphygmomanometer has three parts:
- a cuff that can be inflated with air,
- a pressure meter for measuring air pressure in the cuff, and
- a stethoscope for listening to the sound the blood makes as it flows through the brachial artery .
The scale of the pressure meter ranges from 0 to 300 mmHg. The pressure meter has a rubber pump on it for inflating the cuff and a button for letting the air out.
To measure blood pressure, the cuff is placed around the bare and stretched out upper arm, and inflated until no blood can flow through the brachial artery. Then the air is slowly let out of the cuff.
As soon as the air pressure in the cuff falls below the systolic blood pressure in the brachial artery, blood will start to flow through the arm once again. This creates a pounding sound when the arteries close again and the walls of the vessels hit each other after a heart beat. The sound can be heard by placing the stethoscope close to the elbow. Right when you start to hear this pounding for the first time you can read your systolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
The pounding sound stops when the air pressure in the cuff falls below the diastolic blood pressure in the brachial artery. Then the blood vessels remain open. Right when the pounding stops, you can read the diastolic blood pressure off the pressure meter.
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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.
How To Measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure levels change over the course of time. They can also change according to physical or mental conditions, the measurement environment, or other factors. It’s also nearly impossible to get accurate readings unless you follow the correct procedures. So make sure to measure your blood pressure correctly and keep a record of your readings.
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Learn How To Use A Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Correctly In 5 Minutes
A study published in the Hypertension journal has pointed out that many people are misusing wrist blood pressure monitor at home, which leads to them getting inaccurate readings. The inaccurate readings are usually higher than whats true. To help you get more accurate measurements, here are some guidelines for measuring your blood pressure.
First, here are some dos and donts of using a blood pressure monitor that applies to both wrist and underarm-monitor.
Dos And Dont Of Taking Blood Pressure Measurement
Please try to follow these guidelines to get an accurate reading, as failing to do so can result in an inaccurately high reading.
- Dont exercise, consume caffeine or alcohol, or smoke tobacco 30-45 minutes before taking the measurement
- Dont be in a stressed state of mind immediately before or during the measurement
- Dont hold a full bladder
- Dont engage in conversation or active listening during the measurement
- Dont wrap the cuff over your clothing or use a cuff thats the wrong size for your body
- Dont sit crossed-legged
- Dont contract your biceps or clench your fist
- Do relax and support your arm during the measurement
- Do rest for a few minutes before taking the measurement
- Do sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your back supported
- Do wrap the cuff snugly but not too tightly one finger should be able to fit under the cuff but not more
Additional tip: Blood pressure can fluctuate even in a short period of time. To get a more accurate insight, you can take two to three measurements one minute apart from each other and average the results.
BP measurements can differ slightly between your left and right arm, this is normal, but a big difference can indicate a serious health problem.
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Conflict Of Interest Statement
JJ is a founder, equity owner, and has received research support from RTM Vital Signs, LLC, a company developing non-invasive and long-term implantable vital sign monitoring systems. RTM Vital Signs is not associated with any devices discussed in this manuscript.
The remaining authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
What Are The Common Causes Of Getting Blood Pressure Readings That Are Inaccurate
It is quite normal for peoples blood pressure to change throughout the day and night, or in different settings where you may take your blood pressure. Many things, such as stress levels, food or drink intake, activity levels, even time of day can all affect a persons blood pressure reading at any given time. So, it is possible that you may just be seeing normal fluctuations in blood pressure.
However, below are some common situations that can lead to inconsistent or inaccurate readings:
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How Do I Measure My Arm Circumference
To determine your arm size, use a cloth tape measure and place midway between your elbow and your shoulder around the circumference of your upper arm. Wrap the tape measure evenly around your arm. Do not pull the tape tight. Note the precise measurement in inches. Determine which size cuff is best for you, then purchase a home blood pressure monitor with that size cuff included.
Where Can I Learn How To Take My Blood Pressure Myself
In Germany and other countries, people with high blood pressure can attend patient education courses that teach a number of things, including how to measure your blood pressure. As part of specialized disease management programs for people who have narrow coronary arteries , statutory health insurers offer additional healthcare services. These include patient education about high blood pressure. Some doctors practices don’t offer these courses, though.
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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 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.
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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.
What Can I Do To Help Better Manage My Blood Pressure
Managing your blood pressure doesnt have to take a lot of work. In fact, small improvements to your lifestyle can help.
- Exercise: Just be a little more active. Walk instead of drive take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
- Eat Smart: Try to find low-fat, low-sodium substituted that also taste great. Potassium found in bananas and carrots is natures best medicine for your heart.
- Kick the Habits: Minimize your alcohol and cigarette intake.
- Stifle Your Stress: Stress is a normal part of life. But too much can increase the risk of heart disease. Relax by doing things you enjoy and your heart can benefit.
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home: Monitoring your blood pressure at home on a regular basis provides you and your doctor with the information to best manage your blood pressure.
These are just some examples. Discuss with your doctor on other ways how you can better your heart.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure And When Is Blood Pressure Considered To Be High
Blood pressure is always measured on a number of different days and when you are at rest. If several of these measurements are too high, you are said to have high blood pressure, even if only one of the two either the systolic or the diastolic one is high. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. In adults, blood pressure is considered to be normal under a systolic value of 140 mmHg and under a diastolic value of 90 mmHg.
When taking your blood pressure for the first time, it makes sense to measure the blood pressure in both arms, because it’s sometimes high on only one side. The values that are higher are always the ones used for assessing blood pressure. After that it is enough to measure the blood pressure only in the arm that produced the higher reading. A person is considered to have high blood pressure if the systolic value is over 140 mmHg, the diastolic value is over 90 mmHg, or if both are higher than these readings.
Table: Normal and high blood pressure readings
|systolic over 140 mmHg and/or diastolic over 90 mmHg|
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
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What Is The Correlation Between Grip Force And High Blood Pressure
The grip force is a microcosm of the whole body muscle. When the body strength decreases due to aging, even a simple operation quickly fatigues, and pain and inflammation easily occur. These helpless muscles also reduce the elasticity of blood vessels. For this reason, cardiovascular disease is likely to occur.
Working With Your Doctor Or Nurse
You wont usually make a decision about treatment based solely on the readings you have taken at home. But they may find it useful to know what youre blood pressure is like when youre away from the clinic.
Talk to your doctor or nurse before you start to measure your blood pressure at home. They advise you on when to measure your blood pressure and how often, and this can help you both to be clear about what you are doing and why.
Bring your records with you to your appointments so they can use it to review your treatment.
Make sure your monitor is suitable and you know how to use it
It is a good idea to bring your monitor to the appointment so that your doctor or nurse can check that it is validated and accurate, that it fits properly, and that you know how to use it. They can show you if youre not sure.
For further information on home monitoring, download our booklet, .
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How Do Health Care Professionals Measure My Blood Pressure
First, a health care professional wraps an inflatable cuff around your arm. The health care professional then inflates the cuff, which gently tightens on your arm. The cuff has a gauge on it that will measure your blood pressure.
The health care professional will slowly let air out of the cuff while listening to your pulse with a stethoscope and watching the gauge. This process is quick and painless. If using a digital or automatic blood pressure cuff, the health care professional will not need to use a stethoscope.
The gauge uses a unit of measurement called millimeters of mercury to measure the pressure in your blood vessels.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care team about steps to take to control your blood pressure to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Use this list of questions to ask your health care team pdf icon to help you manage your blood pressure.
How Can I Check My Blood Pressure At Home
Checking your blood pressure at home is easier than youd expect. You first need to buy the right equipment. Talk to your doctor about the best home monitors to buy to check your blood pressure. You want to make sure you get the right size cuff. Once you have your device, heres how to get started:
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, exercise, and caffeine a half hour before you take a reading.
- Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable chair. Rest for at least five minutes.
- Follow your monitors instruction booklet to position the cuff properly and inflate it. For manual monitors, this means squeezing the bulb. For automatic ones, its simply a press of a button.
- Check the readings. Write down the top number and the bottom number .
- Finally, establish a routine for checking your blood pressure at home. This enables you to notice trends in your numbers, which is helpful.
Feel free to share your blood pressure records with your doctor, especially if youre at a higher risk for developing heart disease.
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