Feb 05, 2021
The American Heart Association recommends home monitoring for all people with high blood pressure, which helps the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working. Joining us tonight for part one of our special series this month on high blood pressure is Angelina Davis, manager of Cardiac Rehab at United Hospital Center.
1). How important is it for you to monitor your blood pressure regularly?
Nearly half of all adults in the US are at risk for high blood pressure. Unfortunately, these individuals are at a higher risk for a stroke or heart attack.
So monitoring your blood pressure is something that everyone with high blood pressure should do, but it is something that most people do not know how to do correctly. Self-monitoring is also one of the easiest ways to be proactive about your health. Checking it regularly will help you to start to understand which factors are putting you at high risk for a stroke or a heart attack.
2). So, how often should you check your blood pressure at home?
If you have high blood pressure, you should check with your doctor to see how frequently you should be checking it at home. For most people, taking your blood pressure at home twice in the morning and twice in the evening, even just for a week, will help give you and your doctor a better understanding of your blood pressure. For morning readings, it is better to take your readings prior to taking your medication. It is also important to avoid caffeine, exercise, or tobacco 30 minutes prior to testing, as those can affect your levels.
3). What should you look for in a home monitor?
You should start thinking about getting a self-monitoring device with an upper arm cuff—the type your doctor will most likely recommend. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings.
You want to choose a monitor that has been validated. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. When selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, make sure it is validated for these conditions. Make sure the cuff fits — measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct sized cuff.
Remember, home monitoring (self-measured blood pressure) is not a substitute for regular visits to your physician. If you have been prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure, do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor, even if your blood pressure readings are in the normal range during home monitoring.
This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.
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