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What to Look for When you Buy a Home-use Blood Pressure Monitor

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If you are reading this topic, it possibly indicates that you have chosen to buy a blood pressure monitor for home use and want to be guided on how to choose one. But just in case your mind isn't fully made up yet and you'd like to know why it makes good sense to own one, let's quickly summary.the strong argument in favour of keeping a blood pressure monitor and taking measurements at home:

  • Early Preventive Intervention: If you have a home-use blood pressure monitor and do really use it, you will detect early if your blood pressure is trending up. It could even have entered the pre-hypertension stage. While this is not yet classified as full-blown case of hypertension, it's certainly a strong risk factor. Control at these early stages will obviously offer you a lot more protection, besides being easier. Chances are that only lifestyle changes will be advised by your doctor, with minimal medication. Typically, prevention is better than a cure.
  • Proper Monitoring of Treatment: Maybe you're already diagnosed with high blood pressure and undergoing treatment and management. While you will be seeing your doctor, home measurement makes for even more consistent monitoring, which means better protection for you. Chances are you won't keep all appointments to see a doctor, because of busy schedules or forgetfulness.
  • Reduces Risk of Surprise Incidents: People have dropped dead sometimes or got hit by a stroke because they woke and went about their business not knowing that their blood pressure had shot up to dangerous levels. A period of sustained high BP that is undetected could do a lot of damage and things could just snap. A home check that alerts you of this danger immediately achieves two things: you realise the danger, possibly re-arrange your schedules and begin to try to protect life first. Besides, you are likely to see your doctor as a matter of priority, one, to crosscheck the readings and two, to get urgent medical attention. That could save your life.
  • Cross-checks for White-coat Hypertension: The sudden rise in blood pressure some people experience before the doctor out of anxiety, may be misleading. Home measurement eliminates this factor, as it gives opportunity to crosscheck your reading in a relaxed home environment.
  • Morning Hypertension Tracking: For hypertension patients, the morning blood pressure could tend to be the highest and a risk factor for stroke. Checking the blood pressure in the morning is only feasible, or at least easier, at home. Getting to the hospital in the morning on a frequent basis could prove daunting.
  • More Responsibility: Seriously, having a BP monitor at home puts more responsibility in your hands for the monitoring of your blood pressure. In most cases, you will respond well by showing more interest in your blood pressure management and control. Other members of your family will get more knowledgeable about the subject and take their own blood pressure monitoring more seriously. All that means better health orientation, less future problems, less expenditure and better health standards for the family..
  • Track Your Trend: Knowing your blood pressure at this moment is great, but seeing how it trends over time will add more value. Most home-use blood pressure monitors will provide you memory capacity for storage of measurements over a period. At the hospital, that can't be done for you, as the equipment has to be used for other patients.
  • Check Regularly: At any time, possibly daily and even twice (morning and evening) on a regular basis. If you were to aim for this by going to the doctor, you'll possibly become a burden with time. Yet, that's what's advocated, especially for major cases of high blood pressure.

Those reasons would seem strong enough to justify the investment in a home use blood pressure monitor, especially if you consider that they don't really cost a fortune. But what options do you have, when you want to acquire one?

Blood Pressure Monitor Options
Two main categories of blood pressure monitor will be relevant here:

  • Manual Blood Pressure Monitor: These are more like the BP monitors used in the hospitals, requiring you to manually inflate the equipment and read the read the result. You will pump to inflate the machine, use a stethoscope to listen for arterial blood sounds and manually check the pulse rate. No doubt, these are more difficult for the ordinary, untrained person to use.
  • Digital Blood Pressure Monitors: These are usually fully automatic, meaning a push-button operation. The inflation is done automatically by the machine without requiring pumping by you and the measurements for your systolic and diastolic blood pressures are displayed digitally after reading. Most automatic BP monitors will also measure and display your pulse reading. These are ideal for home use, requiring no special skill to use. A hybrid is the semi automatic version which requires manual inflation but displays its result digitally. Usually, they cost less than the fully automatic ones, but create the job of manual pumping.

Most users will prefer a fully automatic blood pressure monitor because of the ease of use and other extra features they usually parade. Whichever option you choose, you still will have to deal with the aspect of features as well as core issues of quality and fitness for the purpose. Here is a guide as to key issues to pay attention to:

  • Cuff Size: The cuff of your blood pressure monitor needs to fit properly, for good measurement, which is why you need one that fits your arm size. The arm circumference limit for each monitor's cuff should be known to you if you are considering buying it. If it isn't your size, get one that fits, unless you are getting another approved cuff as an accessory. If your arm is large and a given monitor doesn't provide for large arms, that isn't the one for you.
  • Storage Capacity: Is this important to you, and if so, how many readings would you like to store. Find a monitor that can meet that requirement.
  • Display of Readings: Unless you are buying the manual type, which means you know how the monitor the sound and get your readings, otherwise you are interested in proper display of the results on the screen. You want to be sure of what you are getting and should pick a monitor that displays clearly and boldly.
  • Measurement Accuracy: This is fundamental. Of what use to buy a blood pressure monitor that will not give accurate measurement? Unfortunately, you can't judge this factor until you have bought. Not really. There are two ways we think you can judge. Check for track record. Some product names are already proven, so, why experiment? It makes sense to go for brands that are known to measure accurately. You can take that further by checking for clinical validation of measurement accuracy by authoritative independent organisations. Take the British Hypertension Society (BHS), for instance, which clinically evaluates blood pressure monitors and issues a validation certificate on anyone it is satisfied with its accurate measurement. Such validations are even to specific models, not the company or its whole range. If a BP monitor is validated by BHS, it should be reasonable comfort for its accurate measurement. A BP monitor that is not validated may still be accurate, but again, why experiment?
  • Extras: Some extra features may add to the use value. If you're highly mobile, would the more portable wrist type be more suitable for your use? What other feature are available, and which ones are important to you. Ask questions.
  • Price: Naturally, you want to look at your budget for this item. Much as its an important item to buy, there's a limit to what you can spend. Is there a trusted product that meets you target spending on the item? Find one that falls within your range.

So, that's it. You certainly can make a good choice of monitor if you take these factors into consideration. You are sure to find BP monitors that will satisfy your expectations on these factors, right on this site. Check here.


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