How do you check your blood pressure?


Quick Answer

To check your blood pressure at home, WebMD recommends purchasing a manual or digital blood pressure monitor and carefully following the steps outlined in the included manual. It helps to avoid smoking, caffeine, exercise and certain medications before taking blood pressure readings to make sure the results are accurate.

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Full Answer

Stress, cold temperatures and a full bladder are also known to cause increases in blood pressure, according to WebMD.

Sit in a quiet area and relax for several minutes prior to taking a reading. Before applying the cuff, the arm should be raised to the level of the heart and the legs should remain uncrossed while you sits upright in a chair. As the cuff tightens, the palm of the hand should be positioned facing-up, while the forearm rests gently on a nearby table. The pulse should be accurately located in the front bend of the elbow to signal the placement of the stethoscope or arm cuff. Once the cuff is properly secured to the arm, it is time to inflate it for the appropriate number of seconds and then deflate it and release the arm.

Both manual and digital blood pressure monitors should include specific instructions and diagrams that illustrate how to take the reading. Digital monitors are much easier to use than manual monitors, as they manage the inflating and deflating movements and provide digital blood pressure readings without the need for counting heartbeats.

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