Some people believe that it is the physician’s responsibility to keep a close eye on the condition of their patients. But we often forget to remember our role as a patient - be it a serious illness or just trying keeping ourselves healthy. With the advancement of technology, many portable blood pressure monitors are now available which encourages people to take a more active role in monitoring their blood pressure.
Instead of visiting the doctor regularly to check the blood pressure readings, people can use these devices at home and track them while determining what the best course of action.
What are the advantages of a portable/home blood pressure monitor?
- Affordable & low cost
- Easy to operate & understand
- Saves a trip to the medical practice (especially if the blood pressure needs to be monitored regularly)
- Extremely portable & can be carried anywhere
What are the different types of blood pressure monitors that are available and which one should you get?
1) Finger Fitting BP Monitor
It is a small, non-invasive device which is useful for monitoring blood pressure at home. It is popularly used by pregnant women & children who need to keep a check on the BP levels. It is not the ideal device for all patients as they yield less reliable readings.
2) Wrist Fitting BP Monitor
They are blood pressure monitors which can detect the blood pressure from the wrist. As compared to other monitors, they are more comfortable to wear. They are extremely sensitive to the person’s body position and the way it is attached to the wrist. The readings obtained from a wrist fitting BP monitor are usually higher than normal as the arteries in a wrist are not as deep & narrow as compared to the forearm.
3) Upper Arm BP Monitor
These are the most popular & accurate BP monitors. These have an inflatable cuff which straps around the upper arm and reads the blood pressure from the brachial artery, which is the most accurate method of blood pressure measurement. Doctors also follow a similar method. It is important to ensure the cuff fits the upper arm properly. Using a poor-fitting cuff not only skews the reading but can be painful as well.
How to use a home blood pressure monitor
- Sit correctly: Sit with your back straight and supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa). Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface (such as a table) with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the middle of the cuff is placed directly above the eye of the elbow. Check your monitor's instructions for an illustration or have your health care provider show you how
- Measure at the same time every day: It's important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening, or as your healthcare professional recommends
- Take multiple readings and record the results: Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a printable or online tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile
Looking to buy a blood pressure monitor? Check out our wide range of blood pressure monitors.
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