If you’re suffering from hypertension, then checking your blood pressure at home is absolutely important. Many doctors recommend that people suffering from hypertension should monitor their blood pressure regularly at home. Home blood pressure monitors are readily available in the market without any prescription but it is important to know how to use them and what are the benefits of using one.
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Why is a blood pressure monitor needed at home?
It is imperative to know that monitoring your blood pressure at home helps with the following –
- Early diagnosis – Self-monitoring with a digital BP machine at home can help your doctor understand your condition earlier. Home monitoring is especially important for people with elevated blood pressure or other conditions such as heart or kidney ailments.
- Track your treatment – The only way to know if your current treatment or medication is working is by checking your blood pressure regularly. Monitoring BP levels at home can help you and your doctor make important decisions about your treatment.
- Better control – Home monitoring can give you a stronger sense of control over your health. Because of checking your BP at home, you may get encouraged to follow a healthier lifestyle along with physical activity and proper medication.
- Check if your blood pressure differs when you visit your doctor – Some people may get nervous while visiting a doctor and see a spike in their blood pressure or their BP may be fine at a doctor’s clinic but show a difference elsewhere, therefore checking BP at home may clear all doubts regarding your health.
Features to consider while purchasing a digital BP monitor –
- Ease of use – It is important that the system offered by the monitor is not too complicated and can be easily operated by the user without any hassle. This is one of the most important features to consider while buying an automatic blood pressure monitor.
- Power source – Most fully automatic digital blood pressure monitors come powered by batteries or an AC adapter or sometimes even both.
- Display – By looking for a digital blood pressure monitor, one should always pay attention to display quality and size.
These features can greatly affect your choice while purchasing a digital monitor.
How to use a blood pressure monitor at home?
It is quite easy to use a digital BP monitor at home. Below are a few simple steps –
- It is recommended that the patient should first empty his or her bladder before sitting down to test.
- Wait for at least half an hour if the person has taken any alcohol, caffeine or tobacco products.
- Ensure that the clothes worn by the patient are lose and comfortable.
- Ensure that the batteries in the BP machine are working or it is properly charged.
Using the machine –
- If the air plug is detachable, then insert it into the monitor.
- Sit in a comfortable position with legs uncrossed and back straight.
- Wrap the cuff provided with the monitor on the upper part of your bare left arm or the wrist, as per the device you’re using.
- Place the arm on a table in line with the level of your heart. Make sure that your arm is placed comfortably.
- Press the start button on the monitor. The cuff will now start inflating. After inflating, the cuff will deflate and the reading will be visible on the monitor.
- Remove the arm cuff and note the result.
How to prevent high blood pressure?
There are several things you can do to stop hypertension and keep your blood pressure lower. Blood pressure increases with age, and more than nine out of 10 people will develop hypertension unless they follow a healthy lifestyle.
- Be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. Try walking, biking, swimming or any other physical activity that you enjoy. Remember that even a little bit of physical activity is better than no activity at all.
- Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and other foods low in fat and salt. Avoid fast foods, canned foods or foods that are bought prepared, as well as any foods where you can see the fat in them.
- Eat less salt in your diet. This is made easier by eating the diet described above, by avoiding eating at restaurants and by not adding salt to your cooking or keeping salt at the table. Most of the salt we consume is from packaged or prepared foods and from food cooked in restaurants.
- If you drink more than two alcoholic drinks each day, drinking less will help to lower your blood pressure.
- Keeping your body weight within a healthy range also prevents high blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing about 5kg will lower your blood pressure, and reducing your weight to within a healthy range will lower your blood pressure even more.
- It is important to stop smoking if you have high blood pressure. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart problems and others diseases. Ensuring that you live and work in places that are smoke-free is also important.
Some myths about hypertension
Myth 1 – I am only at risk of getting hypertension if my diet is high in sodium or if I am overweight.
Fact – Besides a high-sodium diet and obesity, primary hypertension is also associated with risk factors such as advancing age, family history, alcoholism and physical inactivity.
Myth 2 – I don’t have hypertension if I feel okay.
Fact – Hypertension, widely known as a silent killer, is typically without symptoms.
Myth 3 – I cannot avoid it since hypertension runs in the family.
Fact – Family history of hypertension may increase your risk of developing hypertension.
Myth 4 – If I feel good, I can skip my hypertension medication for the day.
Fact – Hypertension is a chronic disease that requires life-long treatment.
Frequently asked questions about high blood pressure –
What causes high blood pressure?
While the main cause of high blood pressure remains unclear in most people, the reasons could vary from inactivity, poor diet, hereditary, obesity, older age etc.
What health problems are associated with high blood pressure?
Several serious health ailments are linked to high blood pressure such as plaque buildup in arteries, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke, eye disease.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
High blood pressure does not generally have any symptoms and therefore the condition is usually detected after a health checkup. But if you have unusually high blood pressure, then you may suffer from severe headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath etc.
What is the treatment for high blood pressure?
Lifestyle changes are important to keep blood pressure in check. Quitting smoking, losing weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising are some key factors to be noted.
What type of diet should I follow if I have high blood pressure?
A healthy diet comprising of fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be followed regularly.
Frequently asked questions about digital BP monitors –
Why is it important to measure blood pressure at home?
Monitoring blood pressure at home is important so that the effect of hypertension can be monitored and a regular check on health can be maintained.
How often should I check my blood pressure?
You should check your blood pressure at least two times a day – once in the morning before eating or taking any medication and again in the evening.
What causes blood pressure to suddenly rise?
Smoking, excessive amounts of caffeine, rigorous workouts, stress, and anxiety can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure.
Does the size of the cuff matter?
Yes, it is important that the cuff size is right. A tight cuff may result in a higher blood pressure reading.
Consider monitoring your blood pressure at home if you are concerned that your regular checkups with the doctor are not providing an accurate view of your health. If you’re looking for an easy, accurate, and durable digital BP monitor for your home, then do check out the ones available at Medtech Life.