Quick guide to monitoring your blood pressure at home
If you are thinking about keeping an eye on your blood pressure levels or are simply curious about your heart health, measuring your blood pressure at home is not only wise, but also easy. Read here about why you should measure blood pressure frequently.
Do I need a doctor to check my blood pressure?
No. There is a variety of blood pressure monitors designed for home use to meet your needs. You can go with a traditional one and keep a manual diary of your readings or upgrade to a smart blood pressure monitor such as QardioArm and build a complete heart health journal on your smartphone or tablet. When you measure your blood pressure outside of the doctor’s office, it is important to use a blood pressure monitor with clinically validated accuracy. You should always contact your physician if hypertensive values are indicated.
Why you should measure your blood pressure at home
There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial to monitor your blood pressure at home and outside of the doctor’s office.
Measuring your blood pressure frequently can result in an early detection of a problem. Monitoring on a regular basis can alert you to any changes in your blood pressure earlier and can be acted on faster.
Monitoring at home can be done more often and is more convenient than a visit to a doctor’s office or a clinic. Most of us have our blood pressure measured at the doctor’s office once a year – which might not be frequent enough to uncover an underlying problem.
Many people suffer the so-called ‘white coat syndrome’, a phenomenon where anxiety is induced by clinical environments and causes elevated blood pressure readings in patients whose blood pressure is much lower outside the doctor’s office. With measuring blood pressure only at the doctor’s office, these patients might be misdiagnosed. The opposite phenomenon is called “masked hypertension” where normally hypertensive patients do not exhibit high blood pressure readings under certain conditions. Monitoring your own blood pressure at home eliminates these problems, allowing for an easier and more accurate diagnosis.
How often should I check my blood pressure?
Your physician can advise you on how often you should take your blood pressure measurements but there is no downside to measuring often. Advice may vary depending on factors such as age, lifestyle and family history but many medical professionals recommend to take a blood pressure reading as often as several times a day to measure not only day-to-day changes but also spikes throughout the day.
Generally, when using a home blood pressure monitor you may find it appropriate to take readings once or twice daily. If you have a heightened risk of heart disease, you may want to measure your blood pressure more frequently – and with QardioArm you can set helpful daily or weekly reminders to do so.
What’s the right way to measure blood pressure at home?
To take the most accurate blood pressure reading at home, you should do so in a quiet place, sitting down and after a few minutes of relaxation. Don’t take a reading within 30 minutes of eating, or after drinking alcohol. The cuff of your blood pressure monitor should rest directly across from your heart on your left upper arm. Roll up the sleeve of your shirt or remove any tight-fitting clothing. Do not move or talk during the reading. If you’re using your blood pressure monitor daily, take your measurements at the same time each day for the most accurate comparisons. QardioArm makes it easy with reminders that can help you to create an easy to follow routine.
Why should I measure blood pressure several time a day?
Blood pressure actually varies during the day. It tends to be highest in the morning and lowest during your sleep. Blood pressure may also become temporarily high if you are anxious or under stress. So knowing how your blood pressure behaves during the whole day and not just at a certain point is important, especially if you are taking medication.
With QardioArm, not only can you turn your smartphone or tablet into your digital health journal, now you can also use your Apple Watch to take a blood pressure measurement with a tap on your wrist. QardioArm reinvents home blood pressure monitoring making it easy to track your heart health anytime, anywhere.