Blood Pressure Monitors
For those who have high or low blood pressure, keeping track of the numbers at home is essential for staying healthy. Blood pressure monitors are designed to measure how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of the arteries in your body. Some types of blood pressure monitors may be easier or more difficult to use, depending on the type of monitor and your experiences with recording blood pressure readings.How is blood pressure recorded?
Blood pressure is recorded using two numbers:
- Systolic pressure: This number represents how hard the blood pushes against the artery walls when the heart is pumping blood.
- Diastolic pressure: This number represents how hard the blood pushes against the artery walls when the heart is relaxed and filling with blood.
Using a blood pressure monitor can help you take an active role when it comes to your health. Using home blood pressure monitors can alert you to sudden changes in your health and give you a chance to take quick action. There are several types of medical devices available:
- Automatic: Automatic blood pressure monitors are the most commonly used monitors at home. Also called electronic or digital monitors, they use a microphone to detect blood as it is pushed through the arteries. It includes a cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff inflates automatically when you start the button. A digital reading is provided.
- Manual: Manual blood pressure monitors are often found in doctors' offices. An upper arm cuff is applied and a bulb is used to pump air into the cuff. The doctor then watches the dial to get a blood pressure reading.
- Ambulatory: This type of monitor is worn as a small device for 24 to 48 hours. It takes readings automatically throughout the day.
Blood pressure monitors should make monitoring your blood pressure easy and stress-free. For accurate readings, you should consider:
- Cuff size: A properly fitting arm or wrist cuff is essential for accurate measurements.
- Display: Your results should be easy to read and clear.
Depending on your health concerns, you may be asked to take your blood pressure a certain number of times throughout the day. When you do take your blood pressure, it is recommended that you take two or three readings for the most accurate results. It is recommended that you take your blood pressure in the morning before you take any medications and in the evening before you go to bed.