Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home

What equipment do I need to measure my blood pressure at home?

To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an aneroid monitor or digital monitor. Choose the type of monitor that best suits your needs. You should look at the following features when you select a monitor.

  • Size: The right cuff size is very important. The cuff size you need is based on the size of your arm. You can ask the doctor, nurse, orpharmacist to help you. Blood pressure readings can be wrong if your cuff is the wrong size.
  • Price: Cost may be a key factor. Home blood pressure units vary in price. You may want to shop around to find the best deal. Keep in mind that pricey units may not be the best or most accurate.
  • Display: The numbers on the monitor should be easy for you to read.
  • Sound: You must be able to hear your heartbeat through the stethoscope.

Digital monitor

Digital monitors are more popular for measuring blood pressure. They often are easier to use than aneroid units. The digital monitor has a gauge and stethoscope in one unit. It also has an error indicator. The blood pressure reading displays on a small screen. This may be easier to read than a dial. Some units even have a paper printout that gives you a record of the reading.

Inflation of the cuff is either automatic or manual, depending on the model. Deflation is automatic. Digital monitors are good for hearing-impaired patients, since there is no need to listen to your heartbeat through the stethoscope.

There are some drawbacks to the digital monitor. Body movements or an irregular heart rate can affect its accuracy. Some models only work on the left arm. This can make them hard for some patients to use. They also require batteries.

 

Medical terms

Monitoring your blood pressure at home can be confusing. Below is a list of terms that are helpful to know.

  • Blood pressure: The force of blood against the walls of the artery.
  • Hypertension: High blood pressure.
  • Hypotension: Low blood pressure.
  • Brachialartery: A blood vessel that goes from your shoulder to below your elbow. You measure your blood pressure in this artery.
  • Systolic pressure: The highest pressure in an artery when your heart is pumping blood to your body.
  • Diastolic pressure: The lowest pressure in an artery when your heart is at rest.
  • Blood pressure measurement: A calculation of both thesystolic and diastolic  It is written or displayed with the systolic number first and the diastolic pressure second. For example, 120/80. This is a normal blood pressure reading.

Resources

American Heart Association, Blood Pressure Log

 


Post time: Sep-20-2019