It’s impossible to measure your blood pressure without some form of equipment. You may be able to get a close read with an arm cuff and a stethoscope, something that you might remember your doctor doing on one of your annual check-ups. But, for those of us who don’t have a medical degree, that are concerned about hypertension, a digital blood pressure machine is the best way to monitor our important blood pressure stats.
There are two forms of digital devices available:
The first utilizes an arm cuff. Click here for an example of a Digital Arm Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor.
- Put the cuff about 1 inch above your elbow. Wrap it around your arm. Make sure the cuff is tight, the blood pressure reading may not be correct if the cuff is too loose.
- Turn on the monitor and follow the directions.
- Let the air out of the cuff. Turn off the monitor and take off the cuff.
The second is a smaller version that is applied to the wrist. Click here for an example of a Digital Wrist Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor.
- Place the wrist cuff around your right wrist with the velcro facing palm-side. Check to see that cuff is secure. Make sure it’s not too tight and causes your hand to go numb or turn blue.
- To ensure an accurate reading – move your right arm and wrist to the level of your heart.
- Turn on the wrist blood pressure monitor. Press the start button and the wrist cuff will begin to inflate with air. The cuff will get tighter around your wrist.
- Watch the digital display. When the numbers stop changing, it will display your blood pressure.
Whichever monitor you decide to purchase, make sure to record the following information each time you test your blood pressure.
- Your blood pressure – systolic and diastolic
- Date and Time
- Which arm was used
- Any special circumstances like any recent exercise, meal, or stressful event.
When first purchased and then every year after, it is good practice to bring the monitor with you on your doctor’s visit and have it checked for you. This is done by putting the monitor on one arm and using the doctor’s monitoring method on the other. Together with a doctor’s care, a home digital monitor can be very important in managing your blood pressure related issues.