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There are two situations in which you might have your blood pressure tested at home: either because your doctor asks you to, or because you want to keep an eye on your blood pressure yourself. It can help you set goals and track your progress if you're taking medication or making lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure. In fact, patients who monitor their blood pressure themselves are more likely to achieve their goals.

1. How does a sphygmomanometer work?

Wrap the inflatable cuff around your arm, roughly flush with your heart. The monitor measures two pressures: systolic and diastolic. Systolic blood pressure is higher and occurs when your heart beats and pushes blood through the arteries, while diastolic blood pressure is measured when your heart is resting and filling with blood. The entire measurement process is automatic, except for the act of placing the cuff on the arm. The cuff is then inflated until it fits snugly against your arm, cutting off your blood flow, and the valve opens to deflate. When the cuff reaches your systolic blood pressure, blood begins to flow around your arteries. This creates vibrations that are detected by the meter, recording your systolic blood pressure. In a traditional analog sphygmomanometer, the doctor listens for this sound using a stethoscope. As the cuff continues to deflate, it reaches your diastolic pressure and the vibration stops. The gauge senses this and records the pressure again.

2. How to use the sphygmomanometer to obtain blood pressure readings?

Steer clear of caffeine and exercise thirty minutes early, then take a few minutes of rest. Sit comfortably upright with your feet flat on the floor and your back supported. Position your arm correctly on a flat surface with your upper arm level with your heart. Position the cuff correctly with the bottom edge just above the elbow. The instruction manual for the sphygmomanometer will also give you clear instructions.

3. When to use a sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure?

If you use a blood pressure monitor on the advice of your doctor, he or she should tell you when to take a reading. However, you should use them at the same time every day, which is more convenient. Several readings were taken at a time, and the average was calculated several minutes apart to make the data more representative. If your blood pressure monitor doesn't store readings for you, keep them in a notebook for long-term trends.

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