Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to choose blood pressure monitor

Being one of the leading causes of death, high blood pressure is a medical condition that shouldnt be ignored. Since it has rarely any symptoms, having it measured is the best method to keep it in check. Nowadays, people can have at home blood pressure monitors and measure their blood pressure daily. This is especially important for high blood pressure patients and eldery people.
There are two main types of home monitors. Aneroid monitor, a standard gauge type of monitor that you will see in the doctor's office. Before using it, test aneroid monitor for accuracy. Also, get instructions from your doctor on how to use it. One advantage of aneroid monitor is that the cuff  has already built-in stethoscope. It is also cheaper version than digital monitors which might be an important factor to you. Disadvantages are that it can easily become less accurate and that it is sometimes not suitable for hearing-impaired people because you need to listen to heart beats. Digital monitors are more popular because they are easier to use. Blood pressure results are shown on a screen. Some digital blood pressure monitors offer an option to print out the results. Digital monitors have stethoscope and the cuff together, in one unit. Their use can reduce human error in the measurement and are better solution for people who have trouble with vision or hearing, and those who have difficulty with hands. Digital monitors are expensive, especially compared to prices od aneroid monitors. Some digital monitors are made only for left hand usage, which isn't suitable for some people.
There are also finger/wrist blood pressure monitors which are rarely used. Studies have shown that finger/wrist monitors do not measure blood pressure accurately. They are very sensitive to body temperature and position, and are much more expensive than digital and aneroid monitors.
Before buying blood pressure monitor you should consult your doctor. Having a right cuff size is very important, if your cuff size is wrong your blood pressure reading will be inaccurate.  Before using it the first time, you should check your blood pressure monitor for accurancy. Also, you should keep checking its accurancy once a year. Before measuring your blood pressure dont eat or drink coffee or tea for 30 minutes. Trying sitting relaxed and if you need, empty your bladder before measuring. Cuff should fit you snugly, but you should have enough room to put one finger under the cuff.

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