Are you looking for best blood pressure monitor for your home? Lets see what the blood pressure is and how it is measured. Then we will jump to how to choose the blood pressure monitor for you.
What is Blood Pressure
As you may already know, your heart pumps blood to your body to give all the energy and oxygen body needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of your blood vessels and the strength with which is pushes is known as blood pressure. Undetected blood pressure can permanently weaken or damage your blood vessels. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart diseases or stroke.
Measuring Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and is written as two numbers, systolic and a diastolic.
Systolic is the top number, highest level blood pressure reaches when your heart beats. This is the pressure on blood vessels when heart is contracting.
Diastolic is the bottom number, lowest level blood pressure reaches when heart relaxes in between beats. This is the pressure on blood vessels when heart is relaxing.
Monitoring Blood Pressure
The basic principal behind monitoring blood pressure is same in both manual and automatic methods:
- Cuff is inflated to cut of the blood flow temporarily.
- Cuff is slowly released and the point at which blood begins to flow infrequently is sensed which gives the top number, systolic pressure.
- The point at which the blood starts flowing continuously gives the bottom number, diastolic pressure.
In manual measurement, stethoscope is used to sense the blood flow. In automatic measurement, a sensor called oscillator is present in the machine which senses the flow.
Choosing Best Blood Pressure Monitor
When choosing the blood pressure monitor for personal use, one should keep following things in mind –
1. Fully Automatic (Digital)
Although manual blood pressure monitors are considered more accurate, using them requires a technique. There are high chances to make a mistake in measuring the blood pressure using manual monitors for an average person. Therefore, it is best to use a fully automatic blood pressure monitor for home use.
2. Upper Arm Monitor
There are some monitors in the market which measure the blood pressure at your wrist or fingers. They are much easier to use but not as accurate as measuring at your upper arm. So, choose the monitor which measures the blood pressure at your upper arm.
This is very important that the monitor you choose provides accurate measurement. Choose monitor of a well known brand, which goes through a series of tests to make sure that the results can be trusted.
4. Cuff Size
Upper arm blood pressure monitors come with a cuff that you wrap around the arm. If the cuff is of wrong size for your arm, the blood pressure reading will not be correct. Most of the monitors come with a medium-sized cuff to fit every person. You may have to buy small or large size cuff separately if medium is not the right size for you.
There are some monitors which come with 1 year warranty while others with up to 5 years of warranty. Make sure that the warranty period is as per your requirement.
Blood pressure monitors may vary in price depending on some extra features they have like built-in memory for storing last reading for 1 or more people, pulse rate detection, body movement detection etc. Choose the one which fits your budget as some extra features can be helpful but are not that necessary.