Using Digital Blood Pressure Monitors at Home

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Using Digital Blood Pressure Monitors at HomeWe all know about adverse effect of Hypertension also known as High Blood Pressure. It is estimated that nearly one billion people are suffering from hypertension worldwide. Several patients need to take their blood pressure (BP) readings on a daily basis and they have to go to the nearest clinic every time to measure their BP. By using Digital Blood Pressure (BP) Monitors, one can check their Blood Pressure comfortably at one’s home. Digital BP Monitors are quite affordable nowadays. 

Digital blood pressure monitors are quite popular nowadays. Using these digital blood pressure monitors is quite easy and you can carry them around to your workplace or to a vacation. It is sensitive electronic equipment and you need to handle them with some care. These digital BP monitors display of systolic and diastolic pressure readings on a digital screen, which are easy to read. Many monitors can keep a record of your blood pressure readings over time later to print these out or to load them into your computer where they can be plotted into a graph.

Digital BP monitors work the same way as traditional sphygmomanometers used in many clinics. The cuff will inflate automatically. The digital monitor will determine your blood pressure and heart rate by measuring the vibrations (also known as oscillations) as the pressure is slowly released from the cuff. There may be minor variations in the working principle based on the model you bought, but that is how they work generally. In some models, cuffs may need to be inflated manually and you may need to press a button to record your BP figures. However, most of the digital BP monitors available today are fully automatic.

There are several brands and models available in the market. It is important to get a monitor that gives accurate readings. Normally, Blood pressure is also highest in the morning. So, if you are monitoring your BP on a regular basis, try to avoid doing it in the morning or at least do it at the same time every day. Avoid caffeine and smoking for at least 30 minutes prior to testing, as they are known to increase heart rate. Proper fitting is vital in the accuracy of the monitor. Raise your arm to the level of your heart and rest for 5 minutes or so before taking the reading. Try not to take a reading with a full bladder. You can also try taking a second reading within a few minutes to make sure there is not a drastic difference. Also, remember not to get excited while measuring your BP with electronic blood pressure, as they are highly sensitive.

We all know that electronic gadgets are not rugged and we must handle them with some care. Your digital blood pressure monitor is no exception. Always pack it as advised while on the move and do not use it in moving vehicles and in airplanes. Protect it from shocks, vibrations or damage. A damaged unit may start giving inaccurate readings. Keeping mobile phones and other electronic equipment near the monitor while performing the test may give incorrect readings. Low battery strength is something you need to watch out. Take care of the life of batteries and replace them in time. Some digital BP monitors can alert you about low battery. Handle the parts and cuffs carefully. Do not bend the arm cuffs forcibly while packing the monitor in a bag. Do not try to inflate cuffs when the monitor is not in use.

Most of those sold today are reliable. They make your work easier. In fact, most of them have received the approval of health institutions. However, it is in your best interest that you take your apparatus to a doctor or a lab technician and get it calibrated against aneroid blood pressure monitors for accuracy and instructions on how frequently you can use it. Every family should have a Digital Blood Pressure Monitor in their home.  by: Jaya Kumar Patchala

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