INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS: Blood pressure self-measurement 1. Why is blood pressure self-measurement useful? In addition to blood pressure measurement in the doctor's office and the 24-hour blood pressure measurement which is sometimes necessary, the patient can perform their own measurements at home using their own blood pressure device. Since blood pressure is a constantly changing variable that reacts to numerous internal and external conditions, it makes sense to take more frequent measurements at home. This way, it is possible to better estimate the true blood pressure. 2. How should the measurement be carried out? It is best to measure yourself in an upright sitting position after five to ten minutes of physical rest. Double measurements should be made at intervals of one to two minutes. The lower value can be noted down. When you first take measurements, you should check whether the blood pressure in one arm is higher, and only use that arm from then on. 3. When and how often should blood pressure be measured? Measurements should take place over a certain period of time, e.g. one to two weeks before the doctor's visit. During this period you should perform a double measurement twice a day. For best results, measure in the early morning and evening, always before taking blood pressure medication. It may also be that your doctor recommends measurements at other times for a particular reason. Finally, it may also be appropriate to carry out additional measurements if certain complications such as dizziness occur, in order to investigate any possible association with blood pressure. 4. How should the blood pressure measurements be documented? On our website www.cardioettelbruck.lu , you can download sheets for recording the measurements or collect them at the practice. Blood pressure 'passports' may also be used. If you use a smartphone app, the measurements are available on your smartphone. It is important to present the values to your doctor for assessment during your visit. 5. What blood pressure monitors are available? For home use, there are two types of devices to distinguish between. Firstly, there are devices with an upper arm cuff. For these devices, ensure that the cuff is adjusted to the circumference of your upper arm and perform the measurement on a bare arm. Secondly, there are devices which measure at the wrist. For these devices, ensure that the cuff is held steady at heart height for the duration of the measurement. Seek advice when purchasing a device. Both types of devices are acceptable. The most important feature of these devices is precision. A list of tested blood pressure monitors can be found at e.g. https://www.hochdruckliga.de/messgeraete-mit-pruefsiegel.html . 6. What is the normal value for blood pressure as measured at home? The upper limit for blood pressure as measured by you at home is 135/85. Your doctor may set a different target value with you based on your individual circumstances. 7. What should be done if the standard value is exceeded? As a rule, elevated blood pressure at home does not require any immediate reaction. There is no cause for alarm. On your next visit to the doctor, the measured values will be used to discuss whether a change in the treatment given for high blood pressure is necessary. Only if blood pressure is very high, accompanied by acute problems such as severe headache, blurred vision, chest pain or difficulty breathing, is immediate medical assistance necessary.
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