Many people now have a blood pressure machine that they use at home. This is a very handy machine, especially for those who tend to have high blood pressure and must monitor it on a regular basis. Having your own blood pressure machine is also a great idea for healthy individuals like Sphygmomanometer – it gives you a more exact picture of the health of your own body, as well as educating you about the type of things that can raise or lower blood pressure and heart rate. Thankfully, blood pressure machines have come down in price to where the ordinary person can purchase a good model.
It’s important to know the right way to use a blood pressure machine; particularly, whether taking blood pressure over clothing makes sense. This is something that is commonly done by those at home, because it’s an easy, quick way to take blood pressure.
The Old-Fashioned Method
The common practice in the doctor’s office has always been to ask you to roll up your sleeve when the nurse takes your blood pressure. There is a good reason for this: blood pressure machines are sensitive instruments. The readings must be highly accurate, because medical determinations must be made based upon the findings.
Some doctor’s offices still use the old method for taking a patient’s blood pressure, which uses a mercury sphygmomanometer with a gauge. This equipment has been used because it is believed that it gives a more accurate reading. It has also been commonly believed by medical professionals that the arm must be bared to use it correctly.
The At-Home Method
The type of blood pressure machine you are using at home will probably not be the same as what the nurse is using. Most portable blood pressure machines used in the home today are digital. They are made to be easier for the average person to use and to understand. Using an easier piece of equipment means that the average person, who does not have medical training, will be able to obtain as accurate a reading as possible. However, the accuracy of the equipment may not equal the reading you would get at a doctor’s office.
Does taking blood pressure over clothing make sense if you’re at home? That really depends. If you are taking blood pressure over a light shirt, your reading will probably be accurate. If you are wearing bulky, layered clothing or a bunched up top, it may not be as accurate as you would like it to be.
It’s important to remember that blood pressure readings go up and down during the day. To obtain the most accurate sense of your level of blood pressure, you should take it over the course of a week, at the same time every day. Then take an average of your readings.
Also be aware that you should always supplement the readings you get with those you get from a qualified medical professional. This is particularly true if you suffer from high blood pressure, or are taking medication that can affect your blood pressure.