Home Blood Pressure Test
What To Think About
- Home blood pressure monitors should be checked regularly to make sure they are working right. You may wish to take your monitor to your doctor's office or health department to compare blood pressure readings. This is also a good time to have a health professional watch you take your blood pressure to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
- Your blood pressure may go up and down from day to day and from moment to moment. Blood pressure tends to be higher in the morning and lower at night. Stress, smoking, eating, exercise, cold, pain, noise, medicines, and even talking can affect it. A single high reading does not mean you have Reference high blood pressure (hypertension) Opens New Window, and a single normal reading does not necessarily mean you do not have high blood pressure. The average of several repeated measurements throughout the day is more accurate than a single reading.
- Do not adjust your blood pressure medicines based on home blood pressure readings unless your doctor tells you to.
- Talk to your doctor about how often you should monitor your blood pressure. Early detection and treatment with a combination of medicine and lifestyle changes (weight loss, diet, exercise, stress reduction) may reduce the health risks caused by high blood pressure. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, you may only need to check your blood pressure once a week or less often. You may want to check your blood pressure more often if your blood pressure is not well-controlled or if you are taking different medicines or changing doses of a medicine.
- Most people will have some difference in the blood pressure between the right and the left arm. But if you have a large difference (greater than 20 mm Hg), talk to your doctor about what this may mean.
- Some types of blood pressure monitors can store the results of your test and transfer this information to your computer. Some can relay these readings over a phone line to your doctor's office.
- Blood pressure monitors that measure your blood pressure in your finger or your wrist are not usually accurate and are not recommended.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology