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Checking your blood pressure at home is an important part of managing your health, especially if you have a history of high blood pressure. Learning how to use your home blood pressure monitor accurately is essential, as many factors could significantly impact your readings. The American Heart Association has made a recommendation that anyone who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure should continue to monitor their blood pressure at home. Monitoring your blood pressure from home can help you learn whether your medication is working, as well as notice any abnormalities before they become larger issues.
Keeping tabs on your health can allow you to report back to your doctor any findings you have regarding your blood pressure. Understanding your blood pressure reading can help you identify unhealthy blood pressure ranges. This can alert your healthcare providers to any issues you may be experiencing, as well as how well your current medication is working for you. Monitoring your blood pressure from home has several benefits, especially for those diagnosed with high blood pressure.
● Helps with early diagnosis. Getting your blood pressure read in a doctor’s office is usually infrequent, as you may only stop into the office one or two times a year. This means that your doctor may not pick up on any changes in your blood pressure, even if it is experiencing highs or lows. Self-monitoring from home can help alert you of any changes in your blood pressure, allowing you to bring those findings to your doctor.
● Possibility of over treatment. Your blood pressure may be elevated during a doctor visit but could be in the normal range when at home. If you don't measure at home you wouldn't know of this and may end up taking medications that you didn't need. Medications come with side effects and of course additional costs.
● Encourages proactivity. Checking your blood pressure from home puts you in control of your health in a small, yet important way. You may feel more encouraged to manage and get your blood pressure in check, which could lead to a healthier diet and even a healthier overall lifestyle.
● Helps track treatment plans. How do you know whether your lifestyle changes, as well as your medications, are working? The best way is to frequently check your blood pressure to take note of any changes. Monitoring blood pressure changes at home can help your healthcare team make decisions regarding your treatment.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. High blood pressure may be diagnosed when readings are consistently above the normal range. One high reading is typically not a cause for concern, as your blood pressure changes throughout the day. However, if you have concerns about your blood pressure, it is important to get into contact with your healthcare team to discuss your readings. If you have high blood pressure, be sure to have a conversation with doctor regarding what blood pressure readings are too high or too low and when to call.
Many different factors can affect your blood pressure reading. If you are concerned about your reading in any way, it is important for you to contact your healthcare team. If you smoked, drank, or ate within the last 30 minutes before checking your blood pressure, that may have an impact on your reading. If you are sitting incorrectly, such as not laying your arm flat, that could also impact your reading. Even stress or anxiousness about a visit to the doctor could impact your blood pressure reading. This is sometimes referred to as white-coat hypertension. About one in five people have the condition.
Home blood pressure monitors may be useful in a few instances. In general, they are typically recommended for those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, those that are also in the prehypertension stage may also find them useful for closely monitoring any changes. Those who are experiencing high blood pressure as a result of another condition may also find benefit with using home blood pressure monitors.
While measuring your blood pressure at home is a great way to be proactive about your health, you will want to ensure that you are measuring your blood pressure the right way. Doing so incorrectly can lead to the blood pressure monitor giving you back an incorrect reading. The proper steps are listed below.
Readings should be taken at the same time every day, regardless of if you are taking measurements in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You should also try to measure yourself every single day. This will help you get the most accurate reading. Also, make sure to check blood pressure if feeling unwell or experiencing signs or symptoms of high or low blood pressure. Log these symptoms while sharing them with your doctor.
When you take a measurement, take another measurement after waiting a few minutes. This will help you identify any discrepancies in your readings, and you will be able to tell if the machine is operating appropriately.
Clothing interferes with how the blood pressure machine performs, so make sure you don’t have any clothing on the arm where you are taking the measurement.
Don’t move when the blood pressure machine is taking the measurement. Moving will affect the reading. You also don’t want to have just exercised or had a caffeinated beverage. Have your back firmly against something that is supportive. For instance, you would want to choose a dining chair over your comfy couch. Put your feet flat on the floor. If taking blood pressure on the upper arm (like most people) then the cuff is at heart level and the arm should simply be relaxed next to the body. If the person is using a wrist cuff, then the person should place wrist across chest, at about heart level.
SmartBP, a blood pressure measurement tracker compatible with GoogleFit and Apple Health, allows you access to a means to record your blood pressure measurements with ease. Record, track, and analyze your blood pressure readings all conveniently from your mobile device. Notice trends, dive into your data, and be more proactive about your health. This innovative tool lets you see what is and isn’t working with your treatment plan to give you better insight into your blood pressure management.
Regardless of the way you track your blood pressure, with an app or pen and paper, always take your results to your doctor appointments so your provider can make appropriate recommendations.
Important: The information provided is NOT a substitute for a doctor or professional healthcare or advice. Any health related information provided in SmartBP® app and this website is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the advice of healthcare professionals.
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This is so much easier than writing it down!
I’ve been having high BP readings at the clinic the last few months. Doctor is ready to put me on meds. I asked for a few weeks to check readings and improve lifestyle. This app is showing me so many things! Like what the average reading is and what percentage it’s on each category. Turns okay systolic the majority’s of the time but it looks like I have diastolic hypertension which is supposed to be rare. I wouldn’t have known this without the insights and stats screens.
Best blood pressure tracking app that I have found. Very versatile. Developer responsive and continually looking to polish the app. No regrets upgrading to paid version. Extremely happy.
This app helps me track my blood pressure and assists my doctor in helping me with my hypertension.
I had to monitor by BP for the Dr. while checking responses to medication. This was an efficient way to keep record for myself and show the Dr. my progress
I just got diagnosed with hypertension. This app has helped me and doctors find the best meds to use
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and need to monitor twice daily at least and review with my doctor every three months. She and I both love the app because you can track a lot more than just BP and you can share your findings. I love that I can SEE it clearly too as some other apps I tried were very small and very light text. Even though I could track in Apple health kit I prefer this for many reasons and you can pull the data from here to there anyway AND then other apps if you do desire like LoseIt!
This is a very good app to track and analyze your blood pressure. It has been a tremendous help to me monitoring and charting my progress. I tried several apps before deciding that SmartBP was the clear winner.
A great way to keep track of your blood pressure daily so you can keep up with your numbers.
I’ve been using the app for a long time. Version 6.6 had a bug that wouldn’t open the app on my iPhone. Problem was fixed within 24 hours. Outstanding response.
SmartBP is being a great help to me tracking my blood pressure while I’m battling high pressure. Having the graphs and stats is encouraging when I see the downward trend. Being able to send a report to the doctor instantly is great for getting feedback from the doctor easily. I like that the limits can be modified and have changed mine (with help of my doctor) to reflect the parameters that apply for me. Great response from the developer to my questions and suggestions. You know you have a good app when the developer is working to make it better and responsive to input. I see from other posts that this developer is engaged with users and working on making the app even better!
This is an outstanding blood pressure app. I’m glad it’s very easy to use because I input my blood pressure several times a day. I like how it gives me an average of my blood pressure and that it gives me statistics and a graph of all my entries. Great app!