Monday, December 5, 2011

Finding The Right Home Blood Pressure Monitor

By Owen Jones

If you want to check your blood pressure at home, you will need a blood pressure monitor. These monitors are not necessarily very costly and are within the budget of most households. There are in essence two types of home monitor: aneroid and digital.

The aneroid monitor has a dial-type gauge and you read off your blood pressure figures from that. It also has a cuff, which you wrap about your arm and which you inflate with a rubber bulb. The digital monitors also use a cuff, yet it can be manually or automatically blown up. The results are read from a small screen. The choice is yours, but most people prefer the automatic digital monitor.

An aneroid home monitor is portable and requires neither batteries nor electricity so is rather cheaper than the digital version. It also has a stethoscope built into the cuff for simple monitoring. A problem could arise in noisy surroundings or if the user is hard of hearing. Someone with arthritic hands or fingers might have an issue squeezing the bulb as well.

Digital monitors are more expensive, yet they are more well-liked too despite that, because they can be entirely automatic. The screen is also easier to read and some devices come with a small printer to create a physical record of your readings. Other digital home monitors have a memory.

The one I use has three memories of thirty spaces each so that you can compare records for a month. Having three memories means that you can monitor and record readings for three separate people or three distinct time slots for one person for the period of a month. If you choose three time slots they could be morning, noon and night, as blood pressures differ during the day.

Whichever type of monitor you opt for, make certain that the cuff is the correct size for you. Be particularly cautious if you have very substantial or very thin arms. Check the age range for the device as well. Mine says for use only on people over 18 years, yet does not say why.

If electricity or batteries is ever likely to become a difficulty, then the automatic digital home monitor may not be for you, although you may be able to rig it up to photovoltaic cells to exploit the sun's rays.

Neither of these units are a problem to use, when you know how, so make certain that the instruction book does not seem as if it was translated by machine. It is naturally vital to know how to take accurate readings and how to interpret them. In order to check the accuracy of your device it is worth taking it with on your next visit to your physician.

You can check your readings against those of his sphygmomanometer, which is thought of as the gold standard of blood monitoring devices. Your GP will also be able to tell you what your systolic and diastolic pressures ought to be.

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