How To Measure Your Blood Pressure At Home Using A Home Monitor
New Acc/aha Blood Pressure Guidelines: Check
Its been over a year since the new blood pressure guidelines were released and 103 million Americans were recategorized with high blood pressure. Thats nearly 1 in 2 of us. How are YOU doing?
|HIGHER THAN 120
Out-of-office BP measurements are recommended to confirm the diagnosis of hypertension and for titration of BP-lowering medication, in conjunction with telehealth counseling or clinical intervention Self monitoring of BP refers to the regular measurement of BP by an individual at home or elsewhere outside the clinic setting .
2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension defines high blood pressure readings obtained by self-measurement at home as:Systolic Blood Pressure 135Diastolic Blood Pressure 85
In terms of taking action based on your blood pressure readings, this should always be discussed and decided on between you and your doctor. You should never self-diagnose or adjust your medication if not prescribed by your doctor.
To learn more about blood pressure, click on the following links:
My Doctor Wants To Compare The Reading From My Home Bp Monitor With The Reading Taken In The Office What Are The Instructions On How To Do This
When doing this type of a comparison, it is very important that the measurements are taken in a certain manner in order for the reading on the OMRON monitor to be accurate. The OMRON monitor uses oscillometric technology that measures the vibration of the blood as it moves through the arteries. The doctor is using a different method of measurement and listens to the sound of your heart. It is necessary for the doctor to take the first measurement using the OMRON monitor. The brachial artery is fully open and not restricted so vibration of the blood is accurately measured. It is also important to note that the different test methods may give slightly different readings due to the test methods or due to the normal fluctuation in blood pressure.
Are Digital Blood Pressure Monitors Accurate
All OMRON blood pressure monitors are clinically proven accurate. They are clinically validated to be within the following:
- Blood pressure: within +/- 3 mgHg or 2 percent
- Pulse: within +/- 5 percent of reading.
This meets or exceeds the AAMI standards. To understand the accuracy levels of other manufacturers blood pressure monitors, you need to contact them. It is always important to investigate accuracy and ease of use before purchasing a home blood pressure monitor.
Can I Take Monitor In Hand Luggage
If youre planning on traveling with a monitor, you may be wondering if you can take it with you in your hand luggage. The answer is yes, you can! However, there are a few things to keep in mind when packing a monitor in your carry-on bag.
First, make sure that the monitor is well-protected. Wrap it in a soft cloth or place it in a padded case. This will help prevent it from being damaged during the journey.
Second, be aware of the size restrictions for carry-on luggage. Most airlines allow passengers to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or laptop. The size of the carry-on bag must not exceed 45 linear inches . If your monitor is larger than this, you will need to check it in.
Finally, remember to pack all the necessary cables and adapters in your carry-on bag. This way, you can easily set up your monitor when you arrive at your destination.
Furthermore, Hi Abhishek, you can carry the Monitor/CPU in check-in baggage. Please note, one piece of hand baggage of up to 7 kg and one piece of check-in baggage of up to 20 kg shall be allowed per passenger for domestic travel.
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Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Blood Pressure Measurement
If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, your provider may recommend one or more of the following lifestyle changes.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active can help lower your blood pressure and also help manage your weight. Most adults should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Check with your provider before beginning an exercise program.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetable, and whole grains. Limit foods high in saturated fat and total fat.
- Reduce salt in your diet. Most adults should have less than 1500 mg of salt per day.
- Limit alcohol use. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one drink a day if you are a woman two drinks a day if you’re a man.
Determining Maximum Inflation Pressure
Healthcare providers determine the maximum inflation pressure before they take blood pressure. The maximum inflation pressure is the number on the sphygmomanometer that the cuff is inflated to when measuring blood pressure. If you do not determine the maximum pressure inflation, an auscultatory gap could go unrecognized, and as a result the blood pressure could be underestimated .
An auscultatory gap is a silent interval when the Korotkoff sounds go absent and then reappear while you are deflating the cuff during blood pressure measurement. This gap is an abnormal finding and can occur due to arterial stiffness and arteriosclerotic disease. It is typically observed in people with a history of hypertension who have been treated with prolonged antihypertensive medication.
To determine the maximum inflation pressure, start by palpating the brachial or radial pulse while inflating the cuff. Inflate the cuff 30 mm Hg quickly past the point when you obliterate the pulse . If you still cannot feel the pulse, use that value to start auscultating that value is the maximum inflation pressure number.
When taking blood pressure, if an auscultatory gap is observed, document the first systolic sound and diastolic sound only. Report the presence of an auscultatory gap in narrative notes.
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How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure
When and how often you take your readings will depend on your blood pressure. Speak to your doctor or nurse about whats suitable for you.
It can be useful to monitor your blood pressure closely to begin with, then less often but at regular intervals.
When you first start using your home monitor
When you first start using a home monitor, measure your blood pressure in the morning and evening, every day for a week.
Take three readings in the morning, one to two minutes apart, and the same again in the evening, and record all the readings. Take an average of the readings, but discard the first one if its much higher than the others. To take an average simply add the two readings together and divide by two. Divide by three if you use all three readings.
Ignore the first days readings altogether, because they might not be accurate as youre not familiar with your monitor yet.
At the end of the week you will have a useful picture of what your blood pressure is normally like.
Your doctor might ask you to keep a record like this when they first think you might have high blood pressure and would like to know more before making a .
After the first week
Once you have a record of your blood pressure over a week, you can take readings less often once every one to two weeks perhaps. Your doctor or nurse can talk to you about this, theres no need to measure it too often.
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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Measuring Blood Pressure Without A Stethoscope
If you only have a cuff and a mercury- or bellows-type manometer and no stethoscope, you can measure a personâs systolic blood pressure by:
1 Putting the cuff around the arm .
2 Inflate it until the arteryâs pulse can no longer be felt .
3 Gradually release the pressure.
4 At the point at which you start feeling the pulse again, register the pressure on the manometer. This is the systolic pressure.
Advantages of this measuring technique are:
* No stethoscope is required.
Automatic Bp Monitoring Equipment
This is the other name for the digital and electronic blood pressure monitoring devices. They come with a microphone and cuffs that detects the pulsating blood in the arteries.
Just press the start button and the cuffs automatically inflate and it does the monitoring itself. This also has a wrist-monitoring cuff but reports say that the arm cuff takes blood pressure more accurately than this one.
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Where Can I Get My Blood Pressure Checked
You can get your blood pressure measured
- By a health care team member at a doctors office.
- At a pharmacy that has a digital blood pressure measurement machine.
- With a home blood pressure monitor that you can use yourself.
Take this form pdf icon with you on your first blood pressure visit to record important blood pressure-related information.
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What Is The Warranty For The Cuff On My Blood Pressure Monitor
For most models, the warranty coverage for the arm or wrist cuff is one year. Cuffs will need to be periodically replaced throughout the life of the monitor. When purchasing a replacement cuff for an upper arm unit, please be certain to measure the circumference of your arm to purchase the correct cuff size. 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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What Is A Blood Pressure Measurement
Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries. A blood pressure measurement is a test that measures the force in your arteries as your heart pumps. Blood pressure is measured as two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure measures pressure inside your arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure inside the artery when the heart rests between beats.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects tens of millions of adults in the United States. It increases the risk of life-threatening conditions including heart attack and stroke. But high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms. A blood pressure measurement helps diagnose high blood pressure early, so it may be treated before it leads to serious complications.
Other names: blood pressure reading, blood pressure test, blood pressure screening, sphygmomanometry
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Preparing To Check Your Blood Pressure
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What Do Blood Pressure Readings Tell You
Blood pressure is measured using two different readings. Heres what they mean:
- Systolic pressure. The first reading is called your systolic pressure. Its the first or top number in a reading. Systolic pressure measures the pressure inside your arteries when your heart is contracting to pump blood.
- Diastolic pressure. The second reading is your diastolic number. Its the second or bottom number. Diastolic pressure measures the pressure inside your arteries when your heart relaxes between beats.
For example, you may see blood pressure written as 117/80 mm Hg . In that case, the systolic pressure is 117 and the diastolic pressure is 80.
Normal blood pressure is considered less than 120/80 mm Hg. This number can vary for many reasons.
Higher numbers in either measurement can be a sign that your heart is working extra hard to pump blood through your arteries. This may be the result of an external trigger, like if youre feeling stressed or scared. When this happens, it can cause your blood vessels to get narrower.
Higher blood pressure measurements could also be caused by an internal force, such as the buildup of plaque or fatty deposits in your arteries. This can also cause your blood vessels to become narrower, which, in turn, can increase your blood pressure.
- before or after you take a certain medication
- at certain times of the day
- when youre stressed or feeling dizzy
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.
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Blood Pressure Monitoring At Home
Many people monitor their blood pressure at home. They often do this to manage or treat a certain health condition. If you monitor your blood pressure at home, keep a record, or log, of the measurements. The record shows your doctor how your blood pressure changes throughout the day. If you take medicines to control your blood pressure, it will help document if they are working. Measuring your blood pressure at home is a good way to take part in managing your health.
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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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How To Interpret The Blood Pressure Reading
Here are the blood pressure guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology, last updated in 2017 :
- A normal blood pressure is a systolic pressure of less than 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 mmHg.
- An elevated blood pressure occurs when the systolic pressure is between 120-129 mmHg, and the diastolic pressure is less than 80 mmHg.
- Hypertension Stage 1 occurs when the systolic pressure is between 130-139 mmHg, or the diastolic pressure is between 80-89 mmHg.
- Hypertension Stage 2 occurs when the systolic pressure is greater or equal to 140, or the diastolic pressure is greater or equal to 90 mmHg.
For a patient to be diagnosed as having hypertension, they need an average reading based on 2 readings or more that are obtained on 2 or more occasions .
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.