25 2014
Choosing the right BP monitoring device

An important part of managing hypertension or high blood pressure is by keeping tab of your health at home. Monitoring body vitals such as blood pressure, temperature, blood oxygen level at home allows you to more easily be in a relaxed state plus gives the flexibility to take your measurements at various times during the day. This can help you & your healthcare professional evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment.

Because blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription, home monitoring is an easy step you can take to improve your condition. But before you get started, it's important to choose a BP monitor that is accurate and the right one for you.

Features to consider

Features on home blood pressure monitors can vary widely, from simple manual models to fully automated devices that allow you to send data to your doctor's office through your phone line or Internet connection. Here are some general features to consider when choosing a blood pressure monitor

1. Choose the right type of monitor:Though there are different kinds of blood pressure monitor available in the market, it's recommended and easy to use a monitor that is fully automatic (Digital). Upper-arm blood pressure monitors usually give the most accurate and consistent results and hence are preferred over wrist or finger monitors.

2. Accuracy: The monitor you choose should be 'clinically validated' for accuracy. This means that it has gone through a series of tests to make sure it gives results that you & your doctor can trust.

3. Cuff size – Check the fit: Choosing a properly fitting cuff is the most important factor to consider when purchasing a home blood pressure monitor. Using a cuff that's the wrong size can result in a bad reading.

4. Ease of use: Make sure that the display on the monitor is easy to read and understand and that the buttons are big enough. The directions for applying the cuff and operating the monitor should be clear.

5. Cost: Home blood pressure monitors can vary in price. This usually depends on the number of extra features that a monitor has, like a built-in memory for example.

6. Available features:Extra features such as a memory for storing readings can be helpful but they are not necessary to give a trustworthy reading. Other features to look for could be risk-category indicator that tells whether your blood pressure is in the high range, or Multiple-user memory that allows two or more users to save readings.

7. Ensure the monitor is suitable for your special needs. :When selecting a blood pressure monitor for the elderly, pregnant women or children, make sure it is validated for these conditions.

Monitoring your blood pressure is not a treatment for high blood pressure. To help treat your high blood pressure, you may need to eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, get enough exercise, and stop smoke. Your doctor may also suggest medicines to help lower your blood pressure. Regularly measuring your blood pressure at home is just one part of a plan to lower your high blood pressure.

Take control of your health today by keeping tab of your health.