Do you have questions about managing your high blood pressure?
Curious about how to measure it at home? Don't worry, we've got answers! Read on to see answers to the most common questions. And remember, if you have more questions, we’re here to help. Get back on the right track and connect with the care team by self enrolling, calling us at (410) 348-1905 or sending us an email.
Q1: How do I measure my own blood pressure?
There are two great options for measuring your own blood pressure. The first option is to buy a battery powered home blood pressure monitor from a drugstore or warehouse store. Check here to make sure your machine is approved for use. If you take medication for high blood pressure, your health plan will usually pay for a home blood pressure monitor. Call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us a message through the Spotlight app if you need assistance with getting a monitor. Our care team can help! The second option is to use a drugstore blood pressure machine. These are available at most pharmacies.
Here are a few things to remember to get the most accurate numbers.
1. The cuff (the fabric sleeve that velcro's around your upper arm), must fit you.
2. There are lines on the cuff that show where the fabric should line up. If it doesn’t line up, your numbers will not be right.
3. Talk to a pharmacist, your provider, or your Scene nurse if the standard size cuff doesn’t fit you.
4. Sit still with your arm resting at the height of your heart, your legs uncrossed, and feet flat on the floor.Take your blood pressure when you’re feeling calm, your heart rate is normal (not right after you’ve run up the stairs!), and with an empty bladder.
5. This video is a great one for understanding how to measure your own blood pressure.
Q2: What do I do with my blood pressure information?
Keep track of your numbers using a notebook or a chart. You will begin to see what your normal numbers are, and how your medication and things going on in your life can change them. Share this log with your provider at every visit so they can understand how you’re doing.
Well, it's a bit like checking on your favorite plant to see if it needs water. If your provider says your blood pressure is a bit high or you have some health issues, you might need to check it as often as twice a day. But if your doctor says your blood pressure is doing just fine, you might only need to check it once a week or even less. Ask your provider about how often you need to check your blood pressure at your next visit.