Your doctor may suggest that you monitor your blood pressure at home if it is either to high or low. This will help specify if there are any serious problems going on and if your medication is working properly. Until your blood pressure is regulated, you should check it once in the morning and again in the evening. Make sure you sit down and rest your arm against a solid surface. Also, you should follow all the instructions that come with your monitor and do not forget to write down the date, time of day and your readings. There are some machines that have a memory area where you can record your readings. When choosing a monitor, the best choice would be one that fits your needs. The cuff size is important because if it does not fit properly the blood pressure readings will not be accurate. The size you need depends on the size of your arm. The standard cuff is suitable for most people but if you have large or small arms you'll probably need a large or small size cuff. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can tell you what your correct size is.
One type of monitor is called the aneroid monitor. It is convenient because you can take it wherever you go. Squeezing a rubber bulb by hand will expand the cuff. A dial gauge with a pointer is where you'll see your reading. Since the stethoscope is already built into the monitor there is no need to buy one. There are a few disadvantages to this type of monitor. There should be a metal ring or the cuff could be hard to put on. Some people might have trouble squeezing the rubber bulb. If you have problems hearing, you may be difficult to listen to the heart sounds clearly though the stethoscope.
Another blood pressure monitor is the digital. A lot of people like this monitor because it is easy to use. Your blood pressure reading is displayed on a screen. There are some digital monitors that are electric and will print out your reading on paper. Certain models have a cuff that is automatically inflated. The downside of a digital monitor is accuracy can be affected if you move your body or if you have problems with irregular heartbeats. You'll also need batteries in order for it to work. The price range can be a little steep for some digital monitors.
When you use any kind of monitor, it needs to be checked for accuracy. Take it with you when you visit your doctor and ask him to check it for you. Also, ask him questions to make sure your using the monitor correctly. Let the doctor or a nurse watch you use it. You should wait about an hour after you wake up to take your blood pressure. If you exercise in the morning then take your blood pressure first. Make sure you're relaxed and comfortably appointed with your back against the chair. Use the same arm every day. Do not smoke, drink alcohol, eat and stay away from caffeine for at least 30 minutes before taking a measurement.