People suffering from high blood pressure or some other kind of heart disease could benefit from being able to keep track of your blood pressure without having to go to the doctor. This is now possible because home blood pressure monitoring devices are now user friendly and the cost for them is reasonable, especially the manual kinds.
It is of utmost importance to ensure that the cuff fits your arm. This can especially be a problem for those with particularly small or large arms, since the readings given by the blood pressure monitor might not be accurate. People with large arms need to buy an extra large cuff size and for children you need a pediatric or extra small cuff.
Proper care needs to be taken of your blood pressure monitor. As sometimes happens, if you should drop the device, then it should be compared with another properly working monitor to check for accuracy. Another thing to keep in mind is it should not be left in a hot car, because this could damage it. You should also check your blood pressure monitor's tubing to be certain that it has no cracks or leaks.
As a general rule you will be recording the resting blood pressure. The only exception would be if your doctor tells you to do something else. The reason for this is that stress and activities elevate your blood pressure and if you need to keep track of the readings, then the same conditions have to be ensured for each reading. You also should not smoke, eat or exercise a half hour before it is time to take the blood pressure reading. The best way to get good readings is to sit comfortably with your feet on the floor.
During the reading you should not move while the device is still on. Movements made during the blood pressure test will cause inaccuracies in the reading. Cell phones also affect the accuracy and should be kept away while you are checking your blood pressure with a monitor.
If you at any time notice the readings from the monitor are strange, then you will have to repeat the test after a few minutes. That also means that the cuff will have to be removed and once you are about to redo the test, the cuff has to be put on again.
All blood pressure monitors should be checked periodically for accuracy. The best way to do that is to take your blood pressure monitor with you to the doctor's office so your doctor can take your blood pressure with his equipment and yours at the same time so you can compare results.
It cannot be emphasized enough that you should be consistent in your routine when it comes to taking your blood pressure. Any changes such as climbing up the stairs can elevate the reading versus if you took it while resting. Your blood pressure does rise and fall throughout the day, but your activities can also affect the outcome of the reading.
Some blood pressure monitors will store your results in memory but it doesn't hurt to write your results in a blood pressure diary also. That way you can jot notes about your health at the time and if you were relaxed at the time of the reading. The more information you supply to your doctor, the better diagnosis and treatment he will be able to give to you.