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Tips for Self Monitoring Your Blood Pressure: Part 2

In the first part of this article, we gave you tips on how to choose the best blood pressure apparatus as well as how to prepare yourself for taking your blood pressure at home. In the second part of this article, we continue with the steps on how to take your own BP and interpreting the readings.

Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home

Taking your blood pressure, just like any medical procedure, has proper steps. To avoid incorrect readings, follow these steps instructed by our doctors at Palm Beach Gardens urgent care:

1.Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet spot in your house. Your back should be straight and your arms should have an even surface for support, with both of your feet flat on the floor as well.

2. Make sure that you're well-rested and relaxed before measuring. It might be helpful to empty your bladder, as studies have shown it could affect your blood pressure as well.

3. Go over your blood pressure monitor manual, as there should be an illustration of how your arms and elbows must be positioned on the armrest in relation to your heart's level. Roll up your sleeves before placing the cuff on your arm. Loosen your hand and your palm should be facing upwards.

4. Once the cuff is fitted securely around your arm, simply press the power button on your digital monitor to turn it on. You should see a zero number on the display screen, which means that the device is ready to measure.

5. Press "Start" on the automatic blood pressure monitor, then sit back and relax as the device quietly takes a reading. After a few seconds, the monitor should have one long beep before the numbers pop up on the display screen.

6. If your blood pressure monitor did not get an accurate reading, you might hear a double beep, or a display screen indicator for error. Don't rush into taking another measurement. Instead, wait a few more minutes for the cuff to deflate and relax on your seat before doing it all over again.

DOT-physicals-hialeah Tips for Self Monitoring Your Blood Pressure: Part 2

What the Blood Pressure Readings Mean

The number that appears on the left side of your home monitor display screen is the systolic pressure - the force that pushes the blood into the arterial walls each time your heart pumps. The number that appears on the right side is the diastolic pressure, which indicates the blood pressure in between heartbeats.

Here’s what your blood pressure reading means, according to the American Heart Association.

  • Normal blood pressure: less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic. 
  • Elevated blood pressure: 120-129 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.
  • High blood pressure stage 1: 130-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic.
  • High blood pressure stage 2: systolic blood pressure of 140 or higher and a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher.
  • Hypertensive crisis: when the blood pressure is higher than 180 systolic and higher than 120 diastolic.

Note that if your BP falls under the last category, you must consult our doctors at Urgent Care Palm Beach Gardens immediately to get the medical intervention you need.

Best Times to Measure Blood Pressure at Home

Following a diagnosis or a hospital stay, it’s recommended that you take your blood pressure measurements daily. Once in the morning before you start your activities and then in the evening when you’re about to call it a night.

Take two or three readings at a time within one to two minutes apart so that your doctors can have more data to compare. Do this for at least two weeks or until your next doctor’s appointment and don’t forget to bring your home BP monitor when you see your doctor for your checkup.

Have questions about blood pressure? Go to Palm Beach Gardens Urgent Care

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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