Home blood pressure monitors are a good idea if
you have high blood pressure or are concerned about your health. There are a few good reasons for using one:
1) They are a good way to start taking charge of your own health. You can see a trend in your blood pressure readings (up or down) over time and take action to change it if necessary and
2)You can provide the readings to your GP to help him monitor your condition and assist him with determining your medication dosage.
3) Getting one or two readings in a doctor’s surgery will not be as
accurate as taking your own blood pressure a few times every day over a month.
4) ’White coat hypertension’ can produce blood pressure readings higher than usual. This is because some people (up to 20% of the population) get nervous when they visit the doctor and this raises their blood pressure. If you are relaxed and in your home environment, taking the readings yourself, then you are more likely to get a more accurate reading. This means you are less likely to be prescribed medication for your ‘high’ blood pressure in the doctor’s office.
There are aneroid and digital home blood pressure monitors. The aneroid ones are like the one your doctor uses and include a stethoscope. Although cheaper than digital they are not as easy to use as the digital ones. I suggest that you consider buying a digital monitor.
The digital ones include upper-arm and wrist type models. They also have either an automatically inflating cuff (the piece that goes round your arm or wrist) or a manual cuff where you pump the cuff up by squeezing a bulb. Digital monitors are the most popular for home use and range in price from $30 to $200 depending on the features.
1) It is easy to shop on line and I make a few suggestions below as to the best monitors to buy
2) Measure your cuff size first before you go shopping. Choosing the wrong cuff size can result in inaccurate readings
3) Choose a monitor that has a large enough display so you can easily read your blood pressure numbers
4) Check that their accuracy meets or exceeds the standards set by the AAMI (Association for the advancement of Medical Instrumentation)
Once you have your reading you can check it on my blood pressure chart page here to see where you stand