A sphygmomanometer, also known as a blood pressure meter, blood pressure monitors for home, or blood pressure gauge, is a device used to measure blood pressure, composed of an inflatable cuff to collapse and then release the artery under the cuff in a controlled manner, and a mercury or mechanical manometer to measure the pressure.
It is always used in conjunction with a means to determine at what pressure blood flow is just starting, and at what pressure it is unimpeded. Manual sphygmomanometers are used in conjunction with a stethoscope.
A sphygmomanometer consists of an inflatable cuff, a measuring unit (the mercury manometer, or aneroid gauge), and a mechanism for inflation which may be a manually operated bulb and valve or a pump operated electrically.
Types of Blood Pressure Monitor for Home
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Your health care provider may ask you to keep track of your blood pressure at home. To do this, you will need to get a home blood pressure monitors for home. The monitor you choose should be of good quality and fit well.
MANUAL BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS
- Manual devices include a cuff that wraps around your arm, a rubber squeeze bulb, and a gauge that measures the blood pressure. A stethoscope is needed to listen to the blood pulsing through the artery.
- You can see your blood pressure on the circular dial of the gauge as the needle moves around and the pressure in the cuff rises or falls.
- When used correctly, manual devices are very accurate. However, they are not the recommended type of blood pressure monitor for home use.
DIGITAL BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS
- A digital device will also have a cuff that wraps around your arm. To inflate the cuff, you may need to use a rubber squeeze ball. Other kinds will inflate automatically when you push a button.
- After the cuff is inflated, the pressure will slowly drop on its own. The screen will show a digital readout of your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- After showing your blood pressure, the cuff will deflate on its own. With most machines, you must wait for 2 to 3 minutes before using it again.
- A digital blood pressure monitor will not be as accurate if your body is moving when you are using it. Also, an irregular heart rate will make the reading less accurate. However, digital monitors are the best choice for most people.
TIPS FOR MONITORING YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
- Practice using the monitor with your provider to make sure you are taking your blood pressure correctly.
- Your arm should be supported, with your upper arm at heart level and feet on the floor (back supported, legs uncrossed).
- It is best to measure your blood pressure after you rest for at least 5 minutes.
- DO NOT take your blood pressure when you are under stress, have had caffeine, or used a tobacco product in the last 30 minutes, or have recently exercised.
- Take at least 2 readings 1 minute apart in the morning before taking medicines and in the evening before eating supper. Try to measure and record BP daily for 5 days and then report your results to your provider.
How to Pick a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Do you plan to start using a blood pressure monitor? You’re part of a growing group. Doctors are telling more and more people with high blood pressure to check their numbers at home.
Why? At the doctor’s office, your blood pressure reading only shows your numbers at that moment. A home monitor lets you check it often. This can give your doctor a better idea of your true blood pressure. The best way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to measure it several times a day for a few months.
There are lots of home blood pressure monitors to choose from. Many cost less than $100. You don’t need a prescription to get one. You can find them at your local pharmacy, a discount store, a medical supply store, and online.
You can even choose a model that you wear on your arm or wrist during the day. But not all of these are accurate. That’s why it’s important to bring your blood pressure monitor to the doctor before you start to use it. She can test it against the ones used in her office.
Do you decide to start employing a vital sign monitor? You’re part of a growing group. Doctors are telling more and more people with a high vital sign to see their numbers reception.
Why? At the doctor’s office, your vital sign reading only shows your numbers at that moment. A home monitor lets you check it often. This can give your doctor a far better idea of your true vital sign. The best thanks to knowing needless to say if you’ve got a high vital sign is to live it several times each day for a couple of months.
There are many home vital sign monitors to settle on from. Many cost less than $100. You don’t need a prescription to get one. You can find them at your local pharmacy, a reduction store, a medical supply store, and online.
You can even choose a model that you simply decline your arm or wrist during the day. But not all of these are accurate. That’s why it’s important to bring your blood pressure monitor to the doctor before you start to use it. She can test it against the ones used in her office.
There are two basic sorts of monitors that use an arm cuff:
Aneroid monitors: You squeeze a bulb to inflate the cuff around your upper arm. Then you read a gauge to seek out your vital sign. These are the smallest amount of expensive options, but they’re also easy to wreck.
Digital monitors: On some models, you inflate the cuff. On others, the machine does it for you. Your reading appears on a small screen. Some even offer a paper printout. They’re easy to use and read.
Wrist Monitors: Pros and Cons
They may be less accurate than the ones that use a cuff. That’s because you would like to require the reading together with your arm at the bottom level. Other positions can affect your numbers. But they might be an honest option if a cuff monitor hurts or if your upper arm is just too large for one.
It also helps doctors make quick medication adjustments to keep blood pressure in a healthy zone. But home blood pressure monitors aren’t always as accurate as they should be. “Home blood pressure monitors may be inaccurate in 5% to 15% of patients, depending on the threshold for accuracy used,” according to Doctor.