Monitoring blood pressure at home is a preventive measure that saves time and helps people better understand the fluctuations of their body. There are two different kinds of blood pressure monitors that people can buy for home use, and what you decide to use depends on a few different factors.
Digital blood pressure monitors come with a cuff that wraps around your arm, and they either have a ball to squeeze or a button to press that will inflate the cuff. The device works by automatically inflating and taking your measurement, and then showing a reading of your blood pressure on a digital screen. After it displays the number, the machine will automatically begin to deflate.
Some digital monitors record readings or save information, and others take the average of the last three readings. How the machine works depends on which one you buy, but all will provide at least one reading.
It’s important to remember that a digital blood pressure monitor will require battery changes. Nonetheless, digital monitors are the recommended device for home use because they are so clear and easy to use.
Manual monitors are less expensive, but also are a little more complicated to use. They do not have a screen that tells you the reading; you’ll have to do your own readings.
Manual monitors have a cuff, a squeezable bulb, a barometer, and a stethoscope to hear your pulse. Manual blood pressure monitors are precise but they take a little more work than digital monitors and so they aren’t the recommended device for home use.
After you buy a blood pressure monitor, make sure to have your healthcare provider inspect the device to ensure that it is functional and a good choice for you.
- “Monitoring your blood pressure at home.” Heart. American Heart Assocation, Mar 2017. Web.
- Harvard Women’s Health Watch. “How to monitor-and lower-your blood pressure at home.” Harvard. Harvard Health Publications, Oct 2013. Web.