Blood pressure is the force that blood creates when it pushes against the artery walls as it is pumped from the heart. If the pressure increases and stays high over a period of time, it can damage the body in many ways causing serious health problems. This is the reason determining blood pressure is important and why a good blood pressure monitor is necessary in maintaining proper health or treating blood pressure disorders.
Choosing the Type of Blood Pressure Monitor
Monitoring blood pressure, whether your own or someone else’s, is not necessarily complicated. A reliable blood pressure monitor and some familiarity of how to use it properly is all that is needed to accomplish the task. This can be done at home and even without professional assistance.
As there are various types of blood pressure monitors, it is best to consider and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages before choosing one. Medical practitioners can be good sources of advise for an ideal blood pressure monitor, but you can also get good information from suppliers and online research.
- A digital blood pressure monitor is a modern equipment designed for convenience in determining blood pressure. Because it is not easy for a person to take his own BP with a manual blood pressure monitor, the digital model is ideal for such situation.
- Varying types of digital blood pressure monitors include either an automatic and manual arm cuff. The manual cuff is inflated by squeezing a small rubber pump until it is tightened on the arm, while the automatic cuff is self-inflating with just a touch of a button. Whether manual or automatic, these cuffs have to be well-fitted in order for the blood pressure monitors to display an accurate reading. Although arm blood pressure monitors are most commonly-used, there are variants that are fitted around the wrist or even the finger.
- The major benefit of digital blood pressure monitors is that they are simple and easy to use. There are no gauges to read as the BP numbers are automatically displayed on an LCD screen. Moreover, no stethoscopes are needed when using a digital blood pressure monitor as there is no need to listen to the heartbeat.
- There are instances, though, when digital blood pressure monitors become inaccurate. Weak batteries, improper arm position, incorrect arm cuff fitting, and irregular heartbeat, can affect the equipment resulting to unreliable readings. In addition, the digital equipment may also become erratic due to the wear and tear of its electronic parts. It is recommended that the readings of a digital blood pressure monitor be compared occasionally against those of a manual blood pressure monitor.
- When another person is taking the BP reading, a manual blood pressure monitor is most suitable. The downside to using this equipment is that it requires skill to be able to accurately read the dial gauge and properly interpret the heartbeat, aside from manually inflating the arm cuff – something that only trained personnel can do.
- The best benefit a manual blood pressure monitor can offer is its consistent accuracy when properly used. As long as the cuff is fitted well, clear and accurate readings can be produced.
Regardless of which type of blood pressure monitor is preferred, it is important to know how to use the equipment in order to check blood pressure on a regular basis and consult your doctor for guidance.