How to check blood pressure at home?

Vivoo Editor
March 19, 2023 5 minutes

Your blood pressure tells you how hard your heart is working to pump blood through your arteries. It is a key marker of your body. 

High blood pressure, often known as hypertension in medical language, may be damaging to your health in a variety of ways. It may harm your important organs, such as your heart, kidneys, and brain, over time. That is why it is important to monitor your blood pressure and take action to regulate it before it creates difficulties. 

Checking your blood pressure at home using an automatic blood pressure machine or manually is one method to keep track of it. This blog will show you how to monitor your blood pressure and provide advice to achieve accurate results. 

What can blood pressure measurements tell you? 

blood pressure

Two separate measurements are used to determine blood pressure. This is what they mean: 

Systolic pressure

Your systolic pressure is the first reading. It is the first or most important number in a reading. The pressure within your arteries as your heart contracts to pump blood is measured as systolic pressure. 

Diastolic pressure

Your diastolic value is the second reading. It is the second or lowest number. Diastolic pressure is the pressure within your arteries when your heart slows down between beats. 

For example, blood pressure may be expressed as 117/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). The systolic pressure is 117, and the diastolic pressure is 80 in such a situation. You can check our blog post about how to increase low blood pressure at home to find more details about low blood pressure.

A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. This figure might fluctuate for a variety of reasons. 

Higher results in either measurement might indicate that your heart is working overtime to circulate blood via your arteries. This might result from an external stimulus, such as being worried or terrified. When this occurs, your blood vessels may get narrower. 

Higher blood pressure readings might also be produced by an internal force, such as plaque or fatty deposit accumulation in your arteries. This may also cause your blood vessels to narrow, raising your blood pressure. 

If you want to check your own blood pressure at home, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider first about how they want you to monitor and record it. 

How to use a blood pressure machine automatically 

Buying an automatic cuff is the easiest method to test your own blood pressure. Automatic blood pressure devices are simple to operate and useful if you have hearing loss. 

These blood pressure cuffs are equipped with a digital monitor that displays your blood pressure measurement on a screen. These are available online at most grocery shops and health food stores. 

blood pressure machine

For at-home usage, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an automatic upper arm blood pressure monitor. Follow the directions that came with your digital blood pressure monitor while using it. You may also bring the monitor to your doctor's office or local drugstore for a demonstration. 

You should also keep a blood pressure journal in a notebook. This may be beneficial to your doctor. A human blood pressure reading may vary from that of automated blood pressure equipment. 

Bring your cuff to your next doctor's visit so you may compare your cuff reading to the reading obtained at the doctor's office. This might assist you in calibrating your equipment and determining the blood pressure values to look for on your particular device. 

Even if you monitor your blood pressure at home, your doctor will want to check it manually at visits. 

How to use a blood pressure cuff 

Keep the following guidelines in mind to acquire the best accurate blood pressure reading: 

Check that the blood pressure cuff is the correct size for you. Cuffs are available in a variety of sizes, including pediatric sizes for those with extremely little arms. When the cuff is deflated, you should be able to easily pass one finger between your arm and the cuff. 

30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure, avoid smoking, drinking, or exercising. Make sure your back is straight and your feet are flat on the floor. You should not cross your feet. Take your blood pressure several times a day and keep track of when each measurement is made. 

Rest for 3 to 5 minutes before measuring your blood pressure, plus a few additional minutes if you've been particularly active lately.  Take at least two readings each time to ensure accuracy. The readings should be within a few digits of one another. Take your blood pressure several times throughout the day to acquire the most accurate readings and ranges.  Bring your own at-home monitor to your doctor's office at least once a year to be calibrated and checked for proper operation. 

You may take your blood pressure in two methods at home. The most straightforward method is to utilize an automatic blood pressure cuff, which can be purchased online or at most grocery shops or drugstores. The American Heart Association recommends this approach for at-home blood pressure monitoring. 

You may also take manual blood pressure readings. This is a more difficult choice. To test your blood pressure using this method, you'll need a blood pressure cuff with a squeezable balloon, an aneroid monitor, and a stethoscope. If you're not sure how to correctly test your blood pressure, your healthcare provider may teach you how. 

It's also critical to communicate your blood pressure measurements with your doctor, particularly if they're outside the usual range. This will assist your doctor in identifying any problems and determining the best course of therapy for you.

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