There are many digital blood pressure devices on the market. Select the one that appeals to you, with the knowledge that it's best if you always take your reading with the same machine because there can be differences between machines.
There are some rules for how to check your blood pressure that will help ensure that your reading is as accurate as possible:
- Check the instructions on how to apply the cuff so the sensors can detect the correct measurements.
- Apply the cuff to your bare arm.
- Take your blood pressure at the same time each day.
- Don't smoke, exercise, or consume caffeinated products for about 30 minutes before taking your reading.
- Sit in a relaxed position, with your arm at rest.
- Don't talk while the machine is working.
Experts don't always agree on what a perfect blood pressure reading is, but the general rule of thumb is that the upper number (the systolic) should be around 120 and the lower number (the diastolic) should be around 80. For example, a blood pressure of 80/50 is low and could cause symptoms such as fainting or lightheadedness. On that same note, a blood pressure of 160/90 is high; if your blood pressure is consistently high, your doctor will recommend treatment.