It’s all well and good having your own blood pressure monitor at home, allowing you to take a reading whenever you need to – but it’s not ideal if you’ve no idea how to use it. Perhaps you’ve just brought one home from the local pharmacy, but never thought to ask how it works. Then no worries, this article will help.
Firstly, take the cuff and wrap it firmly around either your wrist or your upper arm, depending on whether your blood pressure monitor is a wrist or arm variant. You should have instructions with your monitor, detailing how to do this precisely.
Secondly, ensure you’re comfortable and most importantly, relaxed. A reading while you’re stressed or anxious will only be inaccurate and useless information, make sure you’re calm first.
When taking a reading, ensure you remain still while the monitor is working. You should also remain silent and avoid movement in order to get the most accurate reading possible. As soon as you’re ready, press the button on your monitor to start the procedure, which will only take about half a minute.
Once you’ve taken a reading, wait another couple of minutes, and take another one or two tests. Once you’ve completed another couple of tests, make a note of all three results, and take the average. From there, you have a much more accurate reading than having taken just one result. Often you might think you’re relaxed on the first reading, but your blood pressure might be completely inaccurate for a variety of reasons; it’s better to take multiple readings to ensure it’s right.
Some people will find that the first reading they take is a lot higher than the second or third test, perhaps because of nerves or anxiety. If this is the case with you, then make sure you take multiple readings until the blood pressure reading out and becomes more or less the same. You can then use this as your reading for a much more accurate result.
Finally, make a note of your reading, either on paper or if possible, within the machine itself. That way you can determine whether your blood pressure reading is high or low, for you, the next time you get round to having a test.