Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home
Home blood pressure monitoring can be a good way for you and your doctor to learn how your blood pressure changes during the day. You can use one of two types of blood pressure monitors, and each has pros and cons.
Having your own blood pressure monitor can help you track your blood pressure. Ask you health care provider for a recommendation.
This type of monitor has a cuff that you inflate by hand and a dial gauge with a pointer. Most models are easy to carry and usually inexpensive. Some models have easy-to-read gauges and a special cuff that allows you to work it with one hand. These monitors need to be calibrated at least once a year.
These monitors are easy to use and read. Most digital monitors are portable and can be used with one hand. Keep in mind that digital monitors are sensitive to body movement and don't work well on certain people. They also need batteries and can be expensive.
Talk with your doctor about which type might be best for you. No matter what kind of monitor you use, take it with you to your doctor's office, so you can compare it with the monitor in the office and make sure it is accurate.
- Foster, Sarah, RN, MPH
- MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician