People monitor their blood pressure at home for many reasons. Using your blood pressure monitoring system for the first time can be daunting. Here is a very brief guide.
Wear Loose Fitting Clothes and Position Your Arm
Clothes don’t usually get in the way of a blood pressure testing cuff, but it is important to take your garments into consideration before you complete a test. Don’t wear tight fitting clothing that cannot be moved out of the way.
Make sure that your arm is relaxed and that it is roughly on the same level as your heart. If this is strenuous, sitting in an armchair or resting your arm on a table can make it easier.
Apply The Cuff
Wrap the cuff around your arm around 2cm or 1 inch above your elbow. Make sure that the tubing connecting the cuff to the reader falls down the center of your arm. This ensures that the blood pressure sensor in the cuff is correctly aligned.
Be Careful Not To Raise Or Lower Blood Pressure Before Testing
It is important that you get as accurate a reading as possible. To this end, you need to make sure not to take any actions that could temporarily change your blood pressure in the run up to a test. Stay sober: drugs and alcohol can both raise and lower your blood pressure to a rather large degree. Don’t take part in strenuous exercise just before your test. This may make your readings artificially high and damage the accuracy of your average reading stats. You need to rest for around 5 minutes before you use your blood pressure meter in order to get the results that best reflect your resting state.
Turn On The Meter And Begin
Every blood pressure monitor is different, but every single one of them has an on button and a start button. Make sure that you are sitting comfortably with your legs apart, and then press the start button. You will feel a constricting sensation as the cuff begins to tighten. This feeling can be quite uncomfortable, but it is perfectly normal. After around 30 seconds of discomfort, the cuff will loosen and you will be able to take it off.
Take Your Readings
Once the cuff has loosened, you will be able to take your readings. Your blood pressure should appear on the monitor just after the cuff has noticeably loosened. Readings will be given in mmHG, which is short for MilliMeters of Mercury. There are two readings that will be displayed: your Systolic value and your Diastolic value. Systolic value indicates pressure recorded when the heart beats. Diastolic value indicates the blood pressure reading when the heart is relaxed.
Report Your Readings
If you are using a blood pressure monitor at home, the chances are high that you are being told to monitor and report your readings so that a doctor can correctly help you deal with an ailment. Make sure to report your readings promptly or record them.