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It’s important to know if you do. Left untreated, it can cause serious harm to your heart, kidneys and eyes. People with high blood pressure also have a greater risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Since high blood pressure usually doesn't cause noticeable symptoms, checking your blood pressure regularly is vital — even when you feel fine.
Whether you have your blood pressure checked at the doctor’s office or take it at home, it’s important to make sure it’s done right. Your care is based on the results. Measuring your blood pressure with care helps ensure accurate result.
Try these tips to get a good reading:
Even if you’re at the doctor’s office, don’t be afraid to speak up if you see your blood pressure isn’t being taken correctly. Ask to have it taken again if the reading is higher or lower than the normal range. Take charge of your health by making sure you get accurate results.
If you want to track of your blood pressure at home, get a home monitor with an arm cuff. Make sure the cuff fits right. Avoid finger and wrist monitors. Take it with you to your annual doctor’s visit to make sure the readings are right. Ask your doctor to watch you use your device to make sure you’re using it correctly.
If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about what changes you can make to keep it under control.
Read Your Blood Pressure Has a Big Impact on Your Health to learn more about blood pressure and why it’s so important to know your numbers and keep them in a safe range.
Originally published 2/4/2021; Revised 2022
That's a great question - heart.org does not recommend wrist or finger monitors because they yield less reliable readings. For more info, check out this article >> Monitoring Your Blood Pressure at Home, American Heart Association, 2017. - HeatherA
Why do we need to avoid wrist monitors?
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