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A Guide to Measuring your Blood Pressure | RMHP Blog

A Guide to Measuring your Blood Pressure | RMHP Blog



Learn the Right Way to Measure and Monitor Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause coronary heart disease, an aneurysm, heart failure, or other serious health problems. People with high blood pressure may not experience any symptoms, so they might not even know they have it. This is why high blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer.”

Because there aren’t any noticeable symptoms, measuring your blood pressure is the only way to determine whether it’s elevated or not. Here’s what you need to know about measuring and monitoring your blood pressure the right way.

Where Can You Get Your Blood Pressure Checked?

You can have your blood pressure checked in several places, including:

  • At a doctor’s office
  • At a pharmacy
  • At home using a portable blood pressure monitor

For folks who want to check blood pressure on a regular basis, it’s best to purchase a monitor to use at home.

How to Prepare for a Blood Pressure Reading

There are certain steps you can take to ensure your blood pressure reading is as accurate as possible, including:

  • Do not eat or drink anything, especially caffeinated beverages, for 30 minutes prior to measuring your blood pressure.
  • Go to the restroom before starting so you are comfortable.
  • Avoid smoking 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure.
  • Sit in the correct position. Choose a supportive seat, like a dining chair instead of a sofa. Sit with your back straight against the chair. Uncross your legs and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lay your arm on a flat surface so it is supported while you measure your blood pressure. Your upper arm should be at the same level as your heart.
  • Roll up your sleeve on your arm. The blood pressure cuff should go directly onto your skin, not over your clothes.
  • Take a few deep breaths to calm down. Feeling nervous could affect your blood pressure reading.

You should follow these tips to prepare for a blood pressure reading regardless of whether you are at a doctor’s office, pharmacy, or your home.

How to Measure Your Blood Pressure

When you’re ready to use your at-home monitor to measure your blood pressure, follow these steps:

  1. Wrap the cuff around your arm. It should sit about one inch above the bend of your elbow. The tube that connects the cuff to the digital monitor should fall over the front center of your arm.
  2. Make sure the cuff is snug. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingertips underneath the cuff.
  3. Press start to begin the blood pressure reading. Sit still and do not talk until the reading is complete. You should feel the cuff slowly become tighter on your arm before it suddenly deflates.
  4. Check your reading. Your blood pressure and pulse should be displayed on the device’s screen.

To see if your blood pressure stays consistent or begins to rise, you can use a journal to write down the blood pressure readings. You should also write down what time the reading took place. The best way to monitor your blood pressure is to measure it around the same time every day.

Once you’re comfortable monitoring your blood pressure regularly and understand the readings you get, remember to contact a doctor as soon as possible if you get a reading that concerns you. Your doctor can help you understand what steps you need to take to improve your blood pressure and protect your health.