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Tips for Self Monitoring Your Blood Pressure: Part 1

Your blood pressure varies depending on your activities, emotions, or how you spend your time when you’re resting. The constant changes or fluctuations make it harder for doctors to get accurate regular readings and it would be an inconvenience to travel to the doctor's clinic each time.

For this purpose, our doctors at urgent care of Palm Beach Gardens usually recommend that you take your blood pressure using devices for home use so you can monitor and record the numbers on your own. After seeing your blood pressure measurements over a given period, doctors will accurately decide on the best treatment for you following a high blood pressure, or hypertension diagnosis.

Moreover, high blood pressure usually does not present any symptoms or signs. The only way for doctors to assess your condition is by seeing your record of blood pressure readings.

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Buying Your Own Blood Pressure Monitor

Before you set out to check your blood pressure at home, you need to buy a good monitoring device. These are readily available at drugstores or online stores, which come with different price tags from $50 to $100, as well as a variety of features.

A more expensive device doesn't necessarily equate to a more efficient device. The most important thing to consider before you buy is the functionality. Would you like your home blood pressure monitor to keep a record of every measurement you take? Would you like it to compute the average of your last few readings? Do you need the monitor to record your pulse readings as well? Do you need a smartphone integrated feature that sends the results to your doctors immediately?

Medical practitioners usually recommend an automatic or digital blood pressure monitor than a manual monitor because you don't need to learn how to use a stethoscope, or properly cuff the device around your arms to get an accurate reading. The American Heart Association also discourages wrist or finger monitors because the results might not be reliable. Instead, go for automatic, upper-arm, cuff-style monitors that have standards validation, which you can usually ask from the pharmacist.

Buy a blood pressure monitor that fits your arms correctly. An ill-fitting cuff will affect your readings. Consider the monitor display readability as well. Are the numbers big and clear? Can you properly read them?

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Before Taking Your Own Blood Pressure at Home

If possible, bring your blood pressure monitor to your doctor first so that you can get proper guidance on its use, monitoring, and calibration. Doctors at walk in clinic, Palm Beach Gardens do not require an appointment, so you can pop in anytime that’s convenient for you. The doctor might also have specific instructions on how you must use it to help with your treatment plan.

Take note that some factors might trigger a slight increase in your blood pressure. Consider avoiding these at least 30 minutes to an hour before measuring your blood pressure at home, such as:

  • Smoking or drinking coffee regularly
  • Being on medication for another ailment or disease
  • Exercising
  • Being under duress or stress
  • Staying in a cold or hot room

For part 2 of this blog series, we will discuss the proper way of taking your blood pressure at home as well as what the numbers on the monitor mean.

Have questions about blood pressure? Go to UCPB walk in clinic, Palm Beach Gardens

If you have further questions about blood pressure monitoring, our doctors at Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches Walk-in Clinic are always happy to help. You may also Contact Us or schedule an appointment.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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