Doctors now recommend that patients with high blood pressure regularly check their BP at home. It gives patients a sense of awareness of where their blood pressure stands and can encourage them to care more about their health. It also allows doctors to make timely medication changes to keep blood pressure healthy. Unfortunately, recent studies show that home-based blood pressure monitors may be incorrect in 5% to 15% of people, depending on the accuracy threshold applied.
Many doctors rely on home-based blood pressure measurements to guide the treatment. Thus, it is necessary to check specific measures before buying the blood pressure measurement device and should take certain precautions before monitoring your blood pressure.
Device accuracy and guidelines for precise results
Before purchasing a blood pressure monitor, validate by consulting your doctor, which means that its effects are reliable and consistent. Check the accuracy of your monitor once a year by taking it to your doctor’s office and comparing the readings on your monitor to those taken by the doctor.
Whatever type of Blood Pressure Instrument you select for effective use needs proper instruction and practice. Get your blood pressure monitor checked by a doctor or nurse to ensure that it is the best choice for you, and learn how to use it properly.
The optimum gadget for the majority of users is one with an automatically inflating arm cuff and a large, easy-to-read digital readout. Take these actions to achieve the most precise blood pressure readings at home:
Don’t consume any alcoholic or caffeinated beverages during the 30 minutes prior to the test, and refrain from smoking.
With your feet flat on the floor and your back supported, sit quietly for five minutes.
Support your arm so that your elbow is at heart level when taking the measurement.
Remove your sleeves and place the blood pressure cuff over your exposed skin.
You should take your blood pressure as directed by the equipment. Continue to wear the deflated cuff, wait a minute, and then take another reading, when readings are closely spaced.
Following are a few measures to ensure reliable home blood pressure monitoring:
- Check the monitor’s accuracy towards the office model before using it for the first time, and let your doctor see you using the device to ensure you’re doing it correctly. If you drop or break the device, have it inspected before using it again.
- Before eating or taking any drugs in the morning, take the first reading, followed by the second in the evening. You can take two to three readings daily to see whether your results are correct. Blood pressure simultaneously every day.
- Do not take your blood pressure immediately after waking up. You could get ready for the day, but don’t eat or take any prescriptions before taking your blood pressure. Take your blood pressure before exercising if you exercise after waking up.
- Before taking a measurement, you should avoid food, coffee, smoke, and alcohol for 30 minutes. Also, use the restroom first. A full bladder might cause a slight rise in blood pressure.
- Before and during monitoring, sit quietly. When you’re ready, sit in a comfortable posture for 5 minutes with your legs and ankles uncrossed, and your back rested against a chair. Try not to think about anything unpleasant. Do not communicate while taking your blood pressure.
- Position your arm appropriately. While taking your blood pressure, always use the same component. Place your arm on a table, desk, or chair arm, lifted to the level of your heart. To elevate your arm sufficiently, you may need to lay a pillow or cushion under it.
- Wrap the cuff on bare skin rather than over clothes. Rolling up a sleeve until it tightens around your arm might result in an erroneous reading, so you may need to slide your arm out.
- Repeat the reading and wait for 1 to 3 minutes after the initial reading before taking another to ensure accuracy. Take notes if your monitor does not automatically record blood pressure or heart rate.
The blood pressure may fluctuate throughout the day, and the readings taken in the morning will often be higher. In addition, your blood pressure may be somewhat lower at home than in a medical clinic, usually by 5 points.
Take your doctor’s advice in case of deviation in observation or persistent rise in your blood pressure. Discuss with your doctor which readings should require an instant call to the doctor’s office.
Thus, with the technological advancements in today’s pharma world Blood Pressure Measurement became easier at home.