A common question that many people ask is how to measure their blood pressure at home. The easiest way to do this is by using a blood pressure monitor. This device helps you monitor your blood pressure by measuring the air pressure in your artery.
Your blood pressure gives hints regarding the amount of work your heart is doing to pump blood through the arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension can be harmful to your health in many ways.
Even, it can damage your vital organs like kidneys, heart and brain. So, it is crucial to keep an eye on your blood pressure as well as to take steps to control it before it causes serious problems.
However, to monitor your blood pressure at home, you can use an automated blood pressure machine, or by doing it manually. This useful reading will discuss how to check your blood pressure, and some tips to help ensure accurate readings.
Generally, blood pressure is monitored using two different measurements. These are-
- Systolic pressure: Systolic pressure is the top or first number in measurement or reading which indicates the pressure inside your arteries while your heart is contracting to pump blood.
- Diastolic pressure: Diastolic pressure is the bottom or second number in a reading, which measures the pressure inside your arteries while your heart relaxes between beats.
The normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). Here, the systolic pressure is 120 and the diastolic pressure is 80.
If you like to measure your own blood pressure at home, it is better to first check with the healthcare professional or your doctor about how they would like you to measure and record it.
For instance, they may desire to check your blood pressure-
- After or before you take a certain medication.
- At certain times of the day.
- When you’re feeling dizzy or stressed.
Direction to use an automated blood pressure monitor:
The easiest way to check your own blood pressure is to pick an automated cuff. Automatic blood pressure monitors are simple to use as well as they are useful if you have any hearing impairments.
Such blood pressure cuffs contain a digital monitor that will show your blood pressure result on a screen.
An automated, upper arm blood pressure monitor is best for at-home use. This machine can deliver a different result than a manual blood pressure reading.
Guideline to check blood pressure manually:
You will need:
- A blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon along with an aneroid monitor (sphygmomanometer).
- A stethoscope
You can take the help of a family member or friend because it can be difficult to use this process on your own.
Here are some steps to checking your blood pressure at home
- Before measuring your blood pressure, you should be relaxed. Position your arm straight, palm facing up on a level surface, for example, a table.
- Place the cuff on your bicep as well as squeeze the balloon to inflate your cuff.
- with the numbers on the aneroid monitor just inflate the cuff around 20-30 mm Hg over your usual or normal blood pressure. If your normal blood pressure is unknown. You can ask your doctor how much you should inflate your cuff.
- Once your cuff is inflated, set the stethoscope the flat side down on the inside of your elbow crease, and to the inner portion of your arm where the main artery of your arm is located. You should be sure to check the stethoscope prior to using it to make sure you can hear well. By tapping on the stethoscope, you can do it.
- As you hear through the stethoscope machine to listen to the first “whoosh” of the blood flowing, slowly deflate the balloon. Remember or record that number, which is systolic blood pressure.
- Then, you’ll listen to the blood pulsing, now keep listening along with allowing the balloon to slowly deflate until that rhythm stops. The time the rhythm stops, just record that measurement, which is your diastolic blood pressure.
- And, then you’ll record your blood pressure while the systolic is over the diastolic, such as 155/75.
Hints for using your blood pressure cuff
The following hints are so important to get the most accurate blood pressure reading:
- Make sure your blood pressure cuff is the perfect size for you. Normally, cuffs are in different sizes like pediatric sizes if you have very small arms.
- Avoid drinking, smoking or exercising for 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure.
- Sit with your back straight together with your feet flat on the floor. And your feet shouldn’t be crossed.
- Measure your blood pressure at different times as well as record properly what time each blood pressure reading is taken.
- Prior to measuring your blood pressure rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
- To make sure correct reading, take a minimum of two measurements.
- To get the most accurate reading, measure your blood pressure at different times throughout the day.
Apps to track blood pressure: There are apps to check your blood pressure except using any equipment, but this is not a reliable or accurate method.
A healthy or normal blood pressure range: Blood pressure can be different for each person. Generally, healthy blood pressure is considered anything less than 120/80 mm Hg. Your blood pressure will rely on your-
- Any medical conditions you have
- Medications you’re taking
If your blood pressure measurement is 120/80 mm Hg or more, you should wait 2 to 5 minutes, and then recheck.
|Normal||Less than 120||Less than 80|
|Elevated||120-129||Less than 80|
|High blood pressure stage 1 (hypertension)||130-139||80-89|
|High blood pressure stage 2 (hypertension)||140 or higher||90 or higher|
|Hypertensive crisis||higher than 180||higher than 120|
If your blood pressure goes over 180 systolic or over 120 diastolic after a repeat measurement, then find emergency medical care right away.
Blood pressure treatment
Checking your blood pressure can assist you; if treatment is required you should start it prior to damaging your arteries.
Treatment may include:
- Avoiding smoking
- Losing weight
- Taking a heart-healthy diet
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Control stress in healthy ways
- Exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes
Summary: To check your blood pressure at home you can follow two ways. The easiest way is to use an automated blood pressure cuff (available in most grocery stores).
Another way is a manual check-up (a more complicated option). In this way you’ll need:
A blood pressure cuff together with squeezable balloon
- An aneroid monitor.
- A stethoscope.