Checking your blood pressure at home is an important part of managing high blood pressure. Find out how to use home monitors accurately.By Mayo Clinic Staff
The American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations recommend that anyone with high blood pressure monitor his or her blood pressure at home. Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure in a familiar setting, make certain your medication is working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications.
Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription, so home monitoring is an easy step toward improving your condition. Before you start, it's important to know the right technique and to find a good home blood pressure monitor.
Why do I need to monitor my blood pressure at home?
Monitoring your blood pressure at home can:
Not everyone can track blood pressure at home. If you have an irregular heartbeat, home blood pressure monitors might not give you an accurate reading.
Types of home monitors
Most pharmacies, medical supply stores and some websites sell home blood pressure monitors. An automatic or electronic device is recommended. Discuss the choices with your doctor so that you pick the monitor that's best for your situation.
Monitors generally have the same basic parts:
Digital monitors that are fitted on the upper arm are generally the most accurate.
If you can't find a cuff big enough for your upper arm, ask your doctor about fitting a cuff to your lower arm or wrist. These types of cuffs can be difficult to use correctly. Ask your doctor if they might be options for you and how they should be used.
Devices that measure your blood pressure at your finger aren't recommended.