High blood pressure – a condition called hypertension – is very common and it contributes to a range of health concerns, including heart disease and stroke. If you have this condition or are at risk, our first piece of advice is to follow your doctor’s instructions on monitoring, diet, exercise and medication. There is no substitute for a strong relationship with a medical professional.
Self-testing blood pressure at home can help provide a thorough picture of what’s going on with your health so that you can take the right actions and keep your doctor fully informed. Some of the benefits of self-testing with an easy to use home blood pressure monitor include:
- Finding out if you have hypertension. Most people have blood pressure fluctuations throughout the day, with the highest blood pressure periods often happening in the morning and the late afternoon – times when you may not be visiting a doctor’s office. That means you could have dangerously high blood pressure that a doctor never detects. The only way to find out your blood pressure reading when you aren’t at the doctor is to test for yourself. For best results, check several days in a row at the same time of day and after a few minutes of rest. It’s also best to use the same device each time you test.
- Determining if you have so-called white coat syndrome. Some people experience anxiety related to doctor visits and have elevated blood pressure only because they’re seeing a doctor. Some research indicates that as many as 20 percent of high blood pressure cases are actually related to this so-called white coat syndrome. Testing at home with your own device eliminates anxiety and allows you to track your blood pressure over time, including during stressful and non-stressful times.
- Monitoring how well treatment is working. Regular monitoring is the only way to ensure that your hypertension treatment is working. Your doctor may even ask you to use a home blood pressure monitor like the MOBI Health Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor to make sure you’re getting results and that your blood pressure doesn’t go too low. The MOBI unit is nearly silent, so it can be used in public. It also measures heart rate and can detect an irregular heartbeat.
If you have certain medical conditions, monitoring your blood pressure at home can even allow for the administering of emergency or rescue treatment to prevent a hypertension episode from becoming a critical health problem.
Consistency Is Key To Accuracy
When measuring your blood pressure at home, consistency is key to getting an accurate picture of your health situation. It’s also crucial to use any home blood pressure monitor exactly as the instructions indicate for accurate results.
Before taking your blood pressure, rest for at least 5 minutes so that any spike caused by activity can go away. Since accuracy is essential, you may also want to take two reading each time you test, waiting at least a minute between times. If you aren’t in the process of adjusting to a new medication and find that your blood pressure remains relatively stable over several days, you may decide to test only 2 or 3 times per week to make sure your situation is being maintained.
With a wrist blood pressure monitor, most medical professionals recommend holding your wrist at the same level as your heart for the most accurate results. Since wrist arteries are narrower than those in the arm, the reading may be very slightly higher than a reading taken at the upper arm in the same time frame.
Hypertension is a serious medical condition that can lead to very serious and life-altering complications. But you can take action and keep your blood pressure under control. The right home blood pressure monitor makes staying informed easy – and helps make staying healthy possible.