Monitoring your blood pressure from home
One of the most important parts of treating high blood pressure is monitoring your blood pressure levels. This is important even if you don’t have high blood pressure and have only been diagnosed with prehypertension.
Keeping track of your blood pressure levels will allow you to monitor the results of your blood pressure medication. It will also let you see how changes to your lifestyle and diet are affecting your blood pressure levels.
While you should always have your blood pressure levels checked frequently from your healthcare provider’s office, checking your blood pressure levels at home lets you keep track of your health on a more detailed, day-to-day level.
Checking your blood pressure is easy using a blood pressure monitor. In this guide, we’ll list some of the most popular home blood pressure monitors and provide you with information on whether or not home blood pressure monitoring is necessary.
What are the benefits of monitoring from home?
If you see a healthcare professional every week or fortnightly, measuring your blood pressure daily might seem unnecessary. However, taking frequent home reading has numerous benefits:
- Frequent reading give you a detailed look at your blood pressure on a day-to-day schedule. This lets you see how bad eating habits or smoking affect your blood pressure in detail that weekly monitoring often doesn’t provide.
- Monitoring your blood pressure on a daily basis prevents outliers – readings that are temporarily high or low – from causing alarm. Having a long history of daily readings lets you put outlying blood pressure readings in context.
- Monitoring your blood pressure frequently gives you confidence that you’re making the right changes to your lifestyle. Sometimes, confidence that your lifestyle changes are having results is all it takes to continue them.
Who should monitor their blood pressure at home?
Not everyone with high blood pressure needs to monitor their levels from home, but most people do. Generally speaking, the more serious your high blood pressure may be, the more important it is to maintain a record of home-based readings.
Speak to your doctor before you consider home monitoring. Most of the time, people with prehypertension, Stage 1 or 2 hypertension or those who do are not affected by high blood pressure but possess several risk factors may be asked to home monitor.
Certain people should not monitor their blood pressure from home. Home monitors may not be able to provide accurate readings for people with heart arrhythmias, for example, due to their design.
As with any health decision, speak to your doctor regarding home monitoring before you purchase any blood pressure monitoring equipment. They will be able to offer a helpful plan to assist you in monitoring your blood pressure levels.
What blood pressure monitors are available?
A wide variety of home blood pressure monitors are available for people that have prehypertension, Stage 1 high blood pressure or Stage 2 high blood pressure. These include:
- OMRON’s upper arm and wrist monitors
- iHealth’s wireless blood pressure wrist monitor
- Microlife’s range of blood pressure monitors
- Beurer’s range of blood pressure monitors
Upper arm and wrist monitors are also available from a wide range of other medical product companies. Your doctor may be able to recommend a home blood pressure monitor that meets your needs and is within your budget.