In the past, people could only take their blood pressure at healthcare facilities, like clinics and hospitals.
Today, technology has allowed us to benefit from affordable blood pressure monitors that we can use at home.
This makes it very convenient for people, especially those who will benefit from regular monitoring, to take their readings at home.
What Are the Benefits of Self-monitoring My Blood Pressure?
Why is it a good idea to monitor your blood pressure yourself at home?
There are many advantages of self-monitoring at home, and we’ll take a look at them below!
High blood pressure is known as a silent killer because of the lack of symptoms.
This means that unless you take your blood pressure religiously, you may never realise that you have the condition until it hits you where it hurts the most.
Self-monitoring with a blood pressure monitor at home can help you diagnose yourself earlier before your condition worsens.
It is particularly important if you have elevated blood pressure or other conditions that can contribute to hypertension.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home encourages you to take control of your condition by giving you a greater sense of responsibility.
You may feel more motivated to manage your blood pressure using different means, like making lifestyle or diet changes.
Reduces White Coat Hypertension
Do you feel your nervousness creeping up every time you see the doctor and sudden pangs of pain washing over your tummy?
This doctor-induced anxiety can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure, a condition known as white coat hypertension.
As a result, the blood pressure readings taken at the doctor’s can be inaccurate.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home is an ideal place where you are less likely to develop anxiety.
Helps to Monitor Your Treatment
How do you know if your lifestyle or medication changes are working the way they should?
Tracking your treatment is a useful way to monitor your progress and results to determine what works and what doesn’t.
You can translate your findings into data or simply present it to your health care provider to determine the most effective course of treatment!
Taking your blood pressure at home gives you added convenience and accessibility. Now, you need not travel all the way to your healthcare provider just to get a reliable reading, but you can do it in the comforts of home.
For the elderly, disabled, or those with certain health conditions that make it difficult for them to move around, this will be very helpful.
How Do I Use My Blood Pressure Monitor?
Using your blood pressure monitor is simple and fuss-free, especially if you’re using Omron blood pressure monitors.
Here is a step-by-step guide:
- Slide the arm cuff up your upper arm
- Make sure it sits snugly around 1 inch (2.54cm) above your elbow crease
- If you’re using an automatic blood pressure monitor (Omron), simply press the start button to inflate the cuff. If you’re using a manual model, use the attached hand pump to inflate it
- After the cuff inflates properly, air will begin flowing out automatically
- Refer to the screen on the monitor to see your reading
- If an error occurs, adjust the arm cuff and wait a few minutes before trying again
What Is the Best Position to Take My Blood Pressure?
When you’re taking your blood pressure, sit up in a chair with your feet level on the floor. Support your arm properly so that your elbow reaches heart level.
The inflatable arm cuff should cover about 80% of your upper arm completely over your skin and not your shirt. Measure it twice with a short break in between each measurement.
However, there are certain exceptions.
If you feel lightheaded after waking up in the morning or when standing after sitting, check your blood pressure when seated and when standing.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Guidelines
The accuracy of blood pressure monitoring at home is a constant question for many users,
Here are some guidelines to follow for more precise measurements:
- Measure your blood pressure twice a day, once in the morning before breakfast or eating medications, and the next in the evening. Every time you measure, take it 2-3 times
- Position yourself sitting down in a relaxing manner for 5 minutes without crossing your legs or arms with your back leaning against the chair’s. Think happy thoughts and be calm
- Avoid talking when taking your blood pressure
- Empty your bladder before measuring your blood pressure because a full bladder can raise your blood pressure by a little
- Position your arm correctly and use a pillow or cushion to support and prop your arm if required
- Don’t place the cuff over clothing
For guidelines on healthy blood pressure readings, you can check out the best blood pressure guide here.
Why Is the First Blood Pressure Reading Always the Highest?
The first blood pressure reading tends to be deceptively high, so don’t panic and assume that you have hypertension immediately.
Some factors may influence this, from eating food to smoking or drinking. This is why experts always recommend taking multiple readings each time to make sure that the readings are accurate.
Why Is My Blood Pressure Lower the Second Time I Take It?
Realised that your blood pressure is lower the second time you take it?
You’re not alone.
Let’s refer back to the potential reasons for a higher initial blood pressure reading to answer this! Remember to clear your bladder and maintain a state of peace before you take your blood pressure to avoid discrepancies.
Can a Tight Blood Pressure Cuff Cause a High Reading?
If your blood pressure cuff is too tight but fitted properly, it will still be accurate.
However, if it is worn wrongly, it may cause a wrong reading.
Using your cuff over your clothes may lead to a higher reading instead, so it’s important to use it over your bare skin.
So, Are Blood Pressure Monitors Worth It?
Yes, blood pressure monitors are worth it – and with today’s modern devices, they make monitoring easy for everyone to do.
Note that it should not be a replacement for your regular doctor visits and monitoring there, but it can be very insightful and useful to help your doctor create an effective treatment plan.
Buying your own blood pressure monitor may also help you reduce your risk of hypertension and other complications, as well as improve your quality of life.
Where Can I Buy a Blood Pressure Monitor in Singapore?
There are a few places that carry Omron blood pressure monitors in Singapore, like Guardian, Watsons, and Unity.
You will not be able to find them in supermarkets like Giant, FairPrice, nor Cold Storage.
Get yours online on SeniorCare, your reliable and trusted elderly care expert and have it sent straight to your home at your convenience!
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