There are many varieties and types of home blood pressure monitors (HBPM). Purchasing a blood pressure monitor is a great way to keep track of your blood pressure; however, choosing one can be confusing. The choice is personal and usually based on::Accuracy, Ease of use, Cost, Type of cuff, Memory and printing options. It is important to choose one you are comfortable with. This article will give you some tips and information to choose best BP monitor for you.
Home blood pressure monitors are basically of 3 types, Mercury column, aneroid and Digital Blood pressure monitors.
Seen in Doctor’s Office. They are the most accurate, yet most difficult to use. They use a stethoscope to detect the sounds in the arteries.
are the second most reliable. Aneroid monitors range in price from about $20 to $30. These also require using a stethoscope – which is included in this particular model. They are lightweight, portable, and affordable. Experts from the American Society of Hypertension recommend this type and say that these are the most inexpensive monitors and little can go wrong with them. Aneroid models can be difficult to use, and may require training by a doctor or health worker. Moreover, using these requires good hearing and eyesight and may not be the best choice for elderly or disabled persons. For these reasons, aneroid HBPMs are generally less popular than digital monitors.
These machines are less accurate, yet they are the easiest to use. They are a good option for people who are hard of hearing or have poor eyesight. If you use it properly, it is best choice for anyone.
Also it is important to consider cuff while purchasing HBPMs. Cuffs are of three types. Arm, wrist and finger cuffs. Arm cuffs are the most accurate. Finger and wrist cuffs are only recommended for those who cannot wear them on the arm. An improperly fitted arm cuff will give a false reading. This is the most frequent reason for incorrect blood pressure readings. To determine your cuff size, measure around the midpoint of your upper arm. If it is
Less than 31 cm (12.2 in), buy a regular-size cuff
Between 31 and 40 cm (15.7 in), buy a large-size cuff
Cuffs must be inflated to measure blood pressure- they include those that must be inflated manually, semi-automatic devices, or auto inflate devices.
Following are some tips when you purchase blood pressure monitor.
Display Size – Is a standard or an oversized LCD read-out needed. Try to take that with normal size.
Power Supply – Battery powered or AC adapter. If you travel the battery powered unit is your best choice.
Memory Features – Some models remember the last reading or multiple readings. There are also models that have a PC link. Better to choose that has a memory of atleast one month BP monitoring.
Printing options- Some monitors also have printing options to keep your record safe
Cuff Sizes – Large and small arm cuffs are available for some units. The size of the cuff on a blood pressure monitor may be the most important to get an accurate reading. So always use cuff which is not too small and not too large.
Cost – Cost may be the most important factor. Remember to do as much research as possible. The more expensive models may not always be as good as the cheaper ones
Accuracy – Readings on some wrist and finger units may not be as accurate as an arm unit depending on the individual.
Ease of Use – Depends on personal preference. People with certain disabilities may find one unit easier to use than another.
Length of Warranty – Warranties vary from one to three years. Check your unit regularly to make sure everything runs smoothly and accurately.
Dr Armughan, Author of this article, read more about choosing Home Blood Pressure monitor