Before one begins to monitor one’s blood pressure at home, it is very important to know that differences between left-arm & right-arm (inter arm) blood pressure are common. Many of studies have been done in order to find out that what is a ‘normal’ variation between right & left arm. Generally, any difference of 10 mm Hg or less than this is considered normal & not a cause for any concern. Since few of studies have stated that the average inter arm systolic blood pressure difference is significantly greater in patients with a known coronary artery disease, it is a right and better idea to discuss differences higher than 10 mm Hg with the doctor.
When one has one’s blood pressure taken at the office of the doctor for the first time, it is recommended that it be taken in both of arms. But if one is measuring one’s blood pressure at home, readings are usually more easily taken in the non-dominant arm. If one’s home blood pressure readings differ from those which are taken in the office of the doctor, one should be sure to discuss this with one’s healthcare professional.
Lots of factors affect blood pressure. The reality that there are differences in right & left arm readings emphasizes the worth of measuring blood pressure in both of arms initially to stop the misdiagnosis of high blood pressure. If one arm continuously has higher blood pressure than the other arm, such arm should be used to measure blood pressure.
Here are things to keep in mind while measuring blood pressure at home:
1):- Make sure that the cuff fits. Measure around your upper arm & choose a monitor which comes with the right size cuff.
2):- Just be still. Do not drink caffeinated beverages, drink or exercise within the 20 minutes before measuring blood pressure.
3):- Sit relaxed, properly and correctly. Sit with your back straight & supported (on a dining chair, like, rather than a sofa). Your feet should be absolutely flat on floor; do not cross your legs. Your arm should be supported on some flat surface (such as some table) with the upper arm at the heart level. Be sure that the middle of the cuff is placed directly over brachial artery. Check monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how to.
4):- Take not just one reading; take multiple. Every time you measure, take 2 or 3 readings a minute apart & record all the results.
5):- Measure at exactly the same time every day. It is necessary to take the readings at the same time every day, such as morning & evening, or as healthcare professional of yours recommends.
6):- Record all results with great care and accurately. Record all of such readings, including the date & time taken. Share blood pressure records with your healthcare team as well. Few of monitors have built-in memory to store such readings; if yours too do, take that with you to your appointments. Few monitors also allows to upload readings to a secure Web site after you register profile.
7):- Take some benefit from the American Heart Association’s BP tracking tools. They you to track your blood pressure & the steps you are taking to manage it online. You can also print readings to take or fax to the doctor. This online tool works on Microsoft’s Health Vault personal health record storage system as well, thus allows you to share your data with your doctor more easily and electronically. Or, if you want to record your BP readings on paper, download & print our Blood Pressure Tracker .
9):- Understand readings. Optimal blood pressure is not more than 120/80 mm Hg (systolic pressure is 120 & diastolic pressure is less than 80)..
10):- Consult asap healthcare professional if you get lots of high readings. A single high reading of blood pressure is not an asap cause for alarm. But, if you get a high reading, take your blood pressure so 2 to 3 more times & consult your healthcare professional to be assured that you (or your monitor) do not have a problem. When blood pressure reaches a systolic of 180 (top number) or higher OR diastolic of 110 (bottom number) or higher, emergency medical treatment is needed for hypertensive crisis.
11):- Print all these instructions or tricks (what you want to call them) as a helpful reminder.
12):- Keep a record. Record your BP readings on paper regularly.