Are you suffering from hypertension and want to measure your pressure at home? Nothing's easier! You will need to acquire a blood pressure monitor and follow these guidelines.
Above all, make sure you have a reliable blood pressure monitor by checking that it is approved by Hypertension Canada. Beware of second hand devices, they might no longer be calibrated properly.
Automatic devices measure pressure using a cuff placed around the arm just above the elbow. Make sure the size of the cuff supplied with the device is appropriate for the size of your arms. This is important because an armband that is too small will give you higher numbers while a cuff too big will give you lower numbers.
At the time of measurement, sit comfortably in a place where your back will be well-supported and you will be able to keep your arm at heart-level (on a table or armrest for example). Rest for at least 5 minutes before taking the readings. Do not cross your legs and do not speak during the measurement.
As blood pressure fluctuates during the day, a single reading is not enough to have a good idea of the situation. To get a good picture of your blood pressure, it is recommended to measure it twice daily for 7 consecutive days.
Take two readings in the morning, before taking your medication, and two readings at night, before going to bed. Record all the results in a logbook. Ideally, you should take these readings just before a doctor's appointment or a meeting with your pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist will then have enough information to properly assess your blood pressure and whether your treatment is effective.
Need help finding the right blood pressure monitor? Want to check the accuracy of your device? Talk to your pharmacist!