Regular monitoring of blood pressure at home is necessary


Life, Health

Recording the units can help give a consistent reading which may not be affected by anxiety

With a home BP monitoring device you can ascertain whether the rise in pressure is a health condition or just a psychological effect in the presence of a doctor. (Photo: Pixabay)

New Delhi: Blood pressure monitoring at home is beneficial for people suffering from Cardiac ailments and people who have blood pressure fluctuations.

Doctors are increasingly advising their patients to not just rely on clinical readings but record fluctuations in blood pressure at regular intervals at home as well.Such readings can ensure a more effective treatment procedure and a better root cause analysis for the fluctuations, which in turn can help you keep your BP under control.

Keeping a record of BP readings of a person, recorded in a familiar setting and environment can also help in avoiding any discrepancy in readings due to external factors or anxiety.Till recent times, it was believed that the BP reading taken in a doctor's clinic is enough to analyse if a person has hypertension or not.

However, studies point out that more than the high BP level, you must be wary of the range of fluctuations in BP. This can only be analysed through 24-hour monitoring and constant checkups.A BP level of 120/80 is considered normal and anything beyond that needs regular monitoring, and if consistently above normal, medical intervention.Our BP rate is impacted by factors such as daily caffeine intake, salt intake, stress levels, nicotine content, emotions, pain, and physical activity or inactivity.

It has been observed that almost 15% to 30% of people have high BP or low BP only at the doctor's clinic, also known as white-coat hypertension or masked hypertension, respectively. With a home BP monitoring device you can ascertain whether the rise in pressure is a health condition or just a psychological effect in the presence of a doctor.

BP normally has a daily pattern and rises and falls naturally during the day depending on the physical activity and stress levels. It is generally the lowest at night when you sleep and rises steadily few hours prior to waking up, reaching its peak during midday.Post that, it again starts dropping slowly. An abnormal pressure rate needs to be monitored as it is generally linked to some underlying medical condition like kidney ailments, sleep-related disorders, diabetes, thyroid issues or cardiovascular ailments.

You might also get an irregular BP pattern due to high levels of stress, physical activity, smartphone usage, nicotine abuse, working in night shifts, or certain blood pressure medications that tend to last lesser than 24 hours.A home BP monitoring device is designed to get out-of-the-clinic BP measurements at regular intervals and get a precise understanding of your BP levels.

A large number of readings increase accuracy and also help in detecting abnormalities with ease. This also helps in detecting and monitoring the antihypertensive effect of certain medications during the course of the day.

Regular monitoring enables early detection of hypertension and in taking medical intervention before it becomes more severe or causes other chronic ailments.It helps you in keeping a track of your treatment procedures and understanding whether a certain medication or therapy is effective or not.

Frequent monitoring also ensures that your BP fluctuations are under control and helps you in cutting your healthcare costs by decreasing doctor visits.

Dr Udaya Kumar Maiya, Medical Director, Portea Medical suggests following points before checking your BP at home.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and exercise at least 30 minutes before measuring BP.

Sit with your feet flat on the floor, rest your back against the chair, and place your arm on a table or other flat surface.

Once you are at rest, wrap the cuff around the upper part of your bare arm. The center of the cuff should sit over the artery.

With a manual monitor, one has to squeeze the bulb to inflate the cuff, and then deflate the cuff slowly. An automatic monitor can inflate by itself when at the press of a button.

Check the top and bottom readings on the dial or display window. The top number is shows the systolic pressure-the blood pressure when your heart beats. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure-the pressure in between heartbeats. Write down your blood pressure number each time you measure it so you can track it over time.

Home BP monitoring is a very effective means of keeping BP fluctuations in check. However, it is important that the device you use is calibrated properly to give accurate results. It is also important to follow any guidelines mentioned for taking home readings in order to get the correct results.