Häggström, Mikael. “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014” Wikiversity Journal of Medicine 1 (2). Public domain via The Since unmonitored high blood pressure can result in numerous health risks, reliance on a good-quality blood pressure monitor has never been more important.
The best way to track your blood pressure is with a good at-home blood pressure monitor. It will allow you to keep a record of your blood pressure which you can share with your doctor. If you’e on medication, you can easily tell if it”s having the effect that it should.
Modern blood pressure monitors are designed to be used easily by non professionals and make taking blood pressure as uncomplicated as possible. All that is needed to get the job done is a reliable blood pressure monitor and a good block of instruction on using the equipment.
Choosing A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
When choosing the most ideal blood pressure monitor, it is wise to seriously consider the characteristics of the various types available. Medical professionals can provide expert advice for a suitable blood pressure monitor, although you can gather relevant information on your own from product brochures or from online research.
Because taking your own BP using a manual blood pressure monitor is difficult, a digital version of the equipment is more suitable in getting a blood pressure reading in such situations. A digital blood pressure monitor is designed to get accurate blood pressure readings in an easier and more efficient manner than the manual device.
The digital type of blood pressure monitors have either manual or automatic arm cuffs. An automatic arm cuff is inflated automatically by simply pressing a button. A manual cuff, on the other hand, is inflated by repeatedly squeezing a rubber bulb until the cuff is sufficiently tight to get a reading. Regardless of whether manual or automatic, both types of cuffs need to be properly fitted to ensure accuracy of blood pressure readings. Arm blood pressure monitors are more widely-used but there are other models that are used on the wrist and finger.
The main benefit of digital blood pressure monitorsis the convenience of use. Unlike the manual devices, digital blood pressure monitors have no gauges to read and no stethoscopes are needed to produce a blood pressure reading. With these digital equipment, blood pressure numbers are electronically displayed on an LCD screen and listening to the heartbeat is likewise not required.
On the downside, digital blood pressure monitors can be inaccurate in certain occasions as these devices can be affected by a lot of factors such as weak batteries, incorrect arm cuff fitting, improper arm position, and erratic heartbeat. Moreover, the digital blood pressure monitor will eventually become unstable due to the wear and tear of its electronic parts. Occasional comparison of readings of both digital and manual blood pressure monitors is recommended to ensure accuracy.
Manual Blood Pressure Monitors
If another person, a caregiver for instance, is to take the BP readings, a manual blood pressure device is more appropriate. Because this equipment requires skill to read the dial gauge accurately, listen to the patient’s heartbeat not to mention the manual inflation of the arm cuff, only trained personnel can use it, which is the main disadvantage of the equipment.
The best thing about a manual blood pressure monitor is its reliability to reflect an accurate reading when used correctly as long as all components, including the cuffs, are used as specified. A manual blood pressure device costs a lot less than its digital version, which is a big factor for choice.
Regardless of which type of blood pressure monitor is selected, the important thing is to have a reliable set of the equipment and to learn its basic operation in order to keep track of one’s blood pressure in consultation with a healthcare professional.