Home Blood Pressure Test
Blood pressure is displayed on a circular dial
with a needle. As the pressure in the cuff rises, the needle moves clockwise on
the dial. As the cuff pressure falls, the needle moves counterclockwise.
As the cuff pressure falls, the reading on the gauge when blood flow is
first heard is the systolic pressure. The reading on the gauge when blood flow can no longer
be heard is the diastolic pressure.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitors
An ambulatory blood pressure monitor is a small device that is worn throughout the day, usually
for 24 or 48 hours. The device takes your blood pressure automatically.
Your doctor might recommend this monitor if he or she thinks you have white-coat (or office) hypertension or if other methods do not give consistent results.
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Why It Is Done
Home blood pressure monitoring
measures your blood pressure at different times and in different places (such
as at home and at work) during the day. It may be done to:
- Find out if you have
high blood pressure.
- Keep track of how
well medicine taken to reduce blood pressure is working.
- Check how
lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and exercise, are affecting blood
pressure. Home monitoring can help people feel more involved in and more in
control of their own health care.
- Watch for changes in blood
pressure that may be side effects of medicines.
- Check for problems
with high blood pressure during pregnancy or with
preeclampsia. To learn more, see the topic
Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is often used
if there is a big difference between the blood pressure readings you get at
home and your readings in your doctor's office.