Do you need a BP monitor at home?

BP monitor is a ‘must’ for 

You see old people taking their BP monitor with them everywhere they go and you think it’s meant only for such people. Well, it’s not entirely true. A blood pressure monitor is a tool that is necessary in every home for it does not require a person to be a patient of high blood pressure. It could be simply to keep a check on the blood pressure. Any increase or decrease in blood pressure can be a sign of some disease so it is better to know about it beforehand. However, following are some of the people that absolutely need to have a BP monitor at home for one reason or another.

  1. Pregnant women who can face fluctuations in their blood pressure within certain limits.
  2. People diagnosed with heart disease or any other disease which can be triggered through risen or fallen blood pressure.
  3. People who are changing their diet to control blood pressure.

Factors to consider when buying an advanced BP monitor for yourself  

When getting a blood pressure monitor, there is the option of getting an aneroid BP monitor or a digital one. If you decide to go with the digital one, there are a number of features that you have to choose from. Inclusion of features will be raising the price of the device so you would have to see your budget and your needs in order to avoid spending for features that won’t be useful to you. However, there are few basic considerations that you need to be absolutely clear about before getting a Blood pressure monitor. These are, 

The display size 

Blood pressure monitors come in different sizes of display so if you don’t have a 6/6 vision, make sure you choose a display from which you can read your readings easily. 

The right cuff size and type 

There are disposable, reusable and D-ring cuffs available in the market and usually doctors recommend getting D-ring cuffs for they do not need assistance in measuring BP. Cuff size is also very important as a little too loose or tight cuff can lead you to false readings. 

The features you wish to add 

The final decision is to make a list of features you want in your device. There are devices that can not only store readings, but also you can send reading through them. Some are more compact than the others for travelling. You need to be absolutely clear about your needs 

When should you measure BP at home? 

The frequency of measuring BP will depend on your condition and thus, your doctor’s advice. If you have been showing symptoms of raised or low blood pressure, your doctor may advice you to regularly measure blood pressure at home daily once. This is to get a clear picture of your BP levels. However, if you have been given a diet to control your blood pressure, you may be advised to measure BP twice a day, every day at the same time. This is to see any effect of diet on the blood pressure. Sometimes, you need to check your blood pressure only after a medicine that is known to have side effect on the blood pressure level. Whichever the case may be, you will need an easy-to-use BP monitor at home.  

Tips for accurate readings   

If you had a fairly high reading at the hospital, but when you measure it at home, the blood pressure is normal. This is because there are many factors that can have an effect on the readings being taken during your BP monitoring. In fact, some of the factors cause your BP to rise temporarily which hinders the process of analysing your blood pressure levels. therefore following tips are to be followed before/ during BP monitoring.  

  1. Do not take caffeinated drink or a cigarette before the test. 
  2. Be calm and relaxed. 
  3. Have an empty bladder at the time of test. 
  4. Do not talk when the readings are being taken 
  5. Sit on an upright chair with your arm and wrist at the heart level.  

Common causes of inaccurate readings 

Common causes of inaccurate readings include, 

  • Psychological stress or tension 
  • Usage of some over-the-counter (OTC) medication 
  • Consumption of cigarette or any drug before the test  

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