High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world, especially due to the lack of obvious symptoms until hospitalization is needed, this silent killer claims the lives of thousands every year. Statistics show that more than 50% of human beings suffer from high blood pressure, and more than 5% of those patients die from complications relating to the disease every year. In America, one in every three citizens suffer from this disease, a disease which kills people more than smoking, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention being exacerbated by all of the previous conditions. Because of this, it is considered a serious public health issue. When your blood pressure increases, your risk of suffering from health problems in the future increases exponentially. Many of these problems will prove fatal eventually, since high blood pressure can put extra strain on your arteries as well as your heart which can easily result in a heart attack or stroke.
How To Get Accurate Blood Pressure Monitor Readings:
- Check your blood pressure each day at the same time.
- Avoid doing exercises, or having any tobacco, or caffeine for at least an hour before the examination, the main point here being to measure yourself during a period of calm, creating a “base state” to read from.
- Ensure that you do not need to use the restroom and that you have not consumed a large meal prior to checking your blood pressure.
- Lay down and take a rest for 5 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Additionally, your arm should be relaxed, not tensed and at the correct height, so you may need to support it with a cushion.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes like a short sleeved t-shirt or any other loose-fitting clothes such that you are able to push them up comfortably. You have to use the cuff on bare skin, not on any articles of clothing.
- Use the same arm for taking blood pressure readings every time, because each arm may give you a slightly different reading. Therefore, it is better to use the arm which your doctor always uses when measuring your blood pressure.
- Remain still during the test, don’t move or talk.
When should you check your blood pressure?
Measuring your blood pressure must be done twice a day, and accurate readings are best gained with regular testing.
Most doctors suggest to measure it once in the morning with an empty stomach before eating or taking any medications and measure it again in the evening before going to sleep.
Remember: to make sure that the results are accurate, check your blood pressure routinely.
Testing Blood Pressure at Home:
Those who suffer from high blood pressure must test it frequently to ensure proper management of this chronic illness. So, if you or one of your family’s members have been diagnosed with borderline or high blood pressure, it is essential that home testing is a routine event in your everyday life for proper maintenance of optimal health. Accurate blood pressure measurement can be easily done with a reliable, good quality blood pressure monitor.
Moreover, taking multiple readings of blood pressure at home can be more gainful than taking it at a doctor’s office as you are more able to closely maintain the same conditions for each test, i.e. time of day, time since last meal, etc.
An at-home blood pressure monitor is a simple and easy investment to make, any member of the general public is entitled to own one. However, before purchasing an at home monitor, it is important to consult with your physician about whether you need one and what specific features are most relevant to your condition.
Who Benefits From Home Monitoring?
Blood pressure rises with each heartbeat, and it falls when the heart relaxes between these beats, the measurements taken during these periods are known as systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively. Additionally, blood pressure can vary depending on many changes including changes in posture, mood, exercise, diet, medications, fatigue, so one measurement for blood pressure at the physician’s doesn’t always provide accurate picture of your health. On the other hand, a series of readings taken for many days using a home blood pressure monitor can provide a clearer and more complete picture of your heart health.
A home blood pressure monitor is best for:
- Patients who have recently begun treatment for high blood pressure
- Patients requiring everyday monitoring instead of the intermittent measurements at a physician’s office, including those suffering from coronary heart disease, diabetes, and/or kidney disease
- Women who are pregnant
- People who occasionally notice high readings at the doctor’s office, and want to understand the rhythms of their body better
- People who prefer to measure in the comfort of their own home
General Types of Home Monitors
There are two popular models for home blood pressure monitors, these models are the arm-cuff models and wrist-cuff models.
When buying a monitor and deciding which is right for you, take all of the available options and features of the monitor into consideration including performance, brand, features, price, color, size, and style.
These monitors are quite common, the cuff is placed above the elbow, then the cuff is automatically inflated. A measurement of your blood pressure is taken and results are then displayed. Most of them offer extra special features like “risk category indicator,” which flags high readings. Some newer models allow you to import the data to a smartphone or computer, allowing you to easily share your results with your health care professional.
Advantages of arm monitors:
- Large number of extra features including long-term storage of measurements
- Easy to use
- Perfect for home use
Cons of arm monitors:
- Not extremely convenient for use on the go
- Proper cuff placement is crucial for proper readings
These monitors are similar to arm monitors, but are more compact and fit snugly around the wrist.
Pros of wrist monitors:
- Highly portable
Cons of wrist monitors:
- Do not always come with the same range of features as arm monitors
- Require the user to place their wrist at heart level to function properly
How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor:
Blood pressure is very easily measured with these devices, adherence to these steps is crucial to ensure an accurate reading:
- Depending on your style of monitor (arm or wrist), ensure proper placement of the device.
- If you are anxious or on edge, take time to relax with deep breaths to return your heart rate to a more baseline state.
- Do not move or talk while using the device.
- Measure your blood pressure two or three times, be sure to wait approximately two minutes between each reading and then average the readings. This will reduce erroneous reporting.
- Record your readings either on paper, a computer, or within the internal memory of your device.
Blood Pressure Reading Tips:
- Make sure to keep accurate records of your readings and report them accurately, do not round up or down.
- Do not jump to conclusions based on your readings. Remember that one high or low reading is not necessarily indicative of your overall health. Taking multiple readings spaced apart helps create a better profile of your physical state.
- Checking your blood pressure twice daily is a good part of an overall health maintenance routine. However, it is important not to see it as the be-all-end-all of your health, there is no need to compulsively check your blood pressure for any minor changes.
Popular Brands Of Blood Pressure Monitors
1- Omron Evolv Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
Omron is considered a highly reputable manufacturer of blood pressure monitors with over 40 years in the industry. Omron continues to innovate by adding new features to their monitors year after year. The technologies they have perfected include very accurate readings, reduction of interference from movement, as well as an exclusive heart health algorithm.
Its shape players a crucial role in it’s utility, that’s because it was redesigned from the ground up and all the tubes and wires were eliminated and the display was placed directly on top of the cuff. The Omron Evolv Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor can be connected via Bluetooth to the Omron app on your smartphone, enabling the user to track and save all readings for easy transfer to a health care professional.
- Simple and innovative design in a compact package
- Sleek and modern for ease of use
- Can be connected to the Omron app to save your readings
2- Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Cuff
The OMRON 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with offers precise readings and a comfortable experience suitable for those with average to large size arms. This precise and accurate monitor also comes with a convenient carrying case.
A simple touch of the button gives you everything you need to know about your blood pressure. Omron guarantees accurate results with every trial.
There are two models, the BP786N and the BP786, but they are really the same item. Omron made some minor technical changes to the components of the BP786 compared to the BP786N, but to the average user the experience is the same.
OMRON 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor has the following features:
- Easy-Wrap ComFit Cuff (suitable for upper arms measuring 9″-17″)
- The ability to manage and track up to 100 readings on the monitor and upload unlimited readings to your smartphone (this requires the free Omron app, available for Android and iOS)
- Multicolored indicator lights which show a comparison between your results and the normal range of blood pressure levels.
- Automatic display of the average of the last 3 readings taken within 10 minutes as well as detection of irregular heartbeats.
3- Omron BP742N 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Cuff
The 5 Series home blood pressure monitor is provided with Omron’s Advanced Accuracy technology to ensure consistently precise and readings. Accuracy is Omron’s commitment to the consumer, this is especially true with the 5 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor.
This model helps you measure your blood pressure quickly and easily. It has a few notable features, including a wide range cuff that fits standard and large arms, dual settings for two users, and memory storage space for 100 readings.
- Recommended by most doctors and pharmacists for its exceptional quality and accuracy
- It takes the work out of re-measuring by displaying the average of the last 3 readings taken within 10 minutes
- Quick and automatic comparison of your readings with normal blood pressure levels using the BP Level Indicator
- Instant alerts if any irregular heartbeat are detected during measurement
- Advanced memory storage allows you to monitor and record the last 100 readings for more than two users
4- 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
For more than 40 years, Omron has been building blood pressure monitors and improving them to better aid those they serve. Ease of use and dependable accuracy are two of Omron’s main concerns to which they consistently deliver.
The Omron 7 Series Ultra Silent Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor can help you to check your blood pressure and heart beats without a major time commitment, as well as extreme portability.
Just as all Omron blood pressure monitors, Omron wrist monitors are tested and validated for accuracy.
One caveat of wrist monitors is that it is very important to place the device at the same level of your heart to ensure accurate measurements.
This monitor features blue and orange indicator lights which help you to find the correct position by guiding your wrist to your heart level, so when you see the blue light, you know that your wrist is at heart level and the blood pressure monitor automatically activates and begins taking a measurement.
The 7 Series Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor has unique features including:.
- Heart Zone Guidance by Omron ensures the device is only activated when the monitor is at heart level
- Irregular Heartbeat Detector warns you for irregular heartbeats during the measuring of your blood pressure
- Ability to store 100 readings with date and time stamp
5- Omron 10 Series Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor with Cuff that fits Standard and Large Arms
The Omron 10 Series home blood pressure monitor has a special expandable cuff which fits all sizes of arms. It is equipped with Omron’s Advanced Accuracy technology that plays a large role in ensuring consistent, precise readings. One touch of a button and the rest is done for you.
The Omron 10 Series home blood pressure monitor has special and unique features to help you measure your blood pressure, these include:
- Exclusive TruRead technology ensures accuracy, it automatically takes three consecutive readings waiting one minute between each reading, the average is then calculated
- Omron 10 Series monitor is comfortable to use and simple to adjust. The pre-formed ComFit Cuff easily inflates around the entire arm, eliminating incorrect cuff positioning
- The expandable cuff fits all size arms
- Easy-to-read screen with numbers appearing in a large font
- Excellent memory storage that stores the last 200 readings for to users
6- Ozeri CardioTech BP3T Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor
The Ozeri CardioTech line of products are clinically proven technology for accuracy and quality. Most of their products, including the Ozeri CardioTech BP3T Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor, are recommended and used by many doctors, physicians and hospitals around the world. The CardioTech Premium Series BP3T Blood Pressure Monitor is compact, portable and easy to use. It boasts is an advanced 2-user arm-cuff monitor powered by a state-of-the-art CPU. This technology improves accuracy by utilizing a double pulse detection algorithm capable of enhancing pulse wave detection.
The CardioTech BP3T comes with impressive features that distinguish it from other monitors including:
- Dynamic measurement technology called MWI (Measure While Inflate). This special, advanced technology reduces the measurement time and increases user comfort
- This monitor includes touch sensitive buttons, a blue LCD with LED backlight and a slider switch to easily switch between users
- Storage allowing up to 120 blood pressure readings with date and time memory recall
- Automatically classifies the readings according to World Health Organization hypertension guidelines with an intelligent graphical display
- Calculates the average blood pressure of the last 3 readings and gives a warning when measuring an irregular heartbeat
- Rated as the best monitor by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute for the criteria of accurate readings and user ease of use
- Backed by a 5-year warranty and provided with 4 AAA batteries, a medium to large sized arm cuff, a bag, and user manual.
7- MOCACuff – Connected Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (iOS/Android)
MOCACuff is popular for its simple & attractive design, lightweight build, and integrated features.
Combining medical-grade technology with elegant, compact design is how MOCACuff stands out from other wrist monitors.
Included is an elegant carrying case for ultimate portability.
MOCACuff is FDA approved, allowing for great measurements of heart rate as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Color-coded indicators for each measurement to easily differentiate between results
- MOCA CARE App available for long term storage of results
- Memory recording for the last 200 readings.
- Health tips based on recommendations from the American Heart Association.
4 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Home Blood Pressure Monitor
With all these choices, choosing the perfect one for you can seem daunting, since there is a great variety of monitors, and every one has its own special features.
Here are few helpful tips to help you find the best blood pressure monitor for you:
There are four main categories of home blood pressure monitor: the standard armband monitor, the wristband monitor, fingertip applications, and the computer-integrated monitor.
Keep in mind that although there is a big number of options out there, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find the one that is perfect for you and answers all of your needs.
There are many manufacturers who are working tirelessly day and night to meet expectations and give you all that you are asking for in a home monitor. So, it is essential to look for the features of the monitors then select the one you like the most.
You may have in mind few brands or kinds of blood pressure monitors, or you may be confused and have no idea where to start your research. In both cases, here are four easy tips to help you determine which one is right for you:
The blood pressure monitor must be tested and approved
First of all, a blood pressure monitor is a medical device which you will rely on to give an accurate picture of your health. Therefore, to make sure and be comfortable that it will give you an accurate reading of your blood pressure, it must be tested and approved.
Several independent medical device associations exist, and their duty is to test the device capabilities and to ensure that they meet the standards expected from a device that will be used in a medical setting.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is one of the most trusted organizations which tests and publishes standards and lists the devices that fit those standards every year.
Most device manufacturers publish whether their product adheres to AAMI standards in the item description.
Your monitor must meet your physical conditions
Blood pressure monitors come in different physical sizes to suit children, pregnant patients, obese patients or any other body type.
“One size fits all” is not found in the world of blood pressure monitors, so when you are searching to buy one, keep your own conditions in mind.
When you choose some available devices, ensure to read the cuff size to ensure it will fit comfortably on your arm, to be effective in managing your health, using your device should not be an uncomfortable experience.
What do you want in a blood pressure monitor?
Narrowing down your choices should be based on your body type, and on what features appeal to you the most.
Some blood pressure monitors can record the time and day when you measure blood pressure, and some devices also measure pulse and give other readings relevant to heart health.
Blood pressure monitors come in different shapes and sizes, as well as different variations to fit all situations. Some extra features may include: an optional two-person mode if more than one family member will use it, a simple one-button design, the ability to connect the monitor to your computer or cell phone, atrial fibrillation detection, or storage to save the records of the last 100 readings among other options.
With all of these things in consideration, picking the right monitor for you should be a straightforward process.