A wrist blood pressure monitor has several advantages compared to a classic upper arm monitoring device. It is very easy to use, portable and fairly inexpensive.
Being so convenient, people prefer them, although they also come with a major disadvantage: if not used exactly as directed, they can be inaccurate. However, if you make sure to always have your arm in the right position, you can get accurate and consistent measurements.
A good way to check the accuracy of your home monitor is to take it to your doctor’s office and have your blood pressure measured with both your HBP device and the professional one your doctor surely has.
Healthy people don’t need it at all. For them, having the BP measured in their doctor’s office once a year is probably enough. However, if you were already diagnosed with hypertension, monitoring it at home is a must.
The main reason for constantly keeping an eye on these readings, is that high blood pressure is an insidious but life threatening disease. When you actually experience physical symptoms, it might be too late, as the damage has already been done. List of hypertension symptoms includes headaches, vomiting, nausea, confusion, double or blurred vision, nosebleeds, shortness of breath.
Choosing the right monitor model for you starts with your allocated budget. Most of the time, difference between cheap monitors and more expensive ones is made by additional facilities such as extra memory slots for memorizing the values of two or three persons. One can easily live without this feature.
Just buy a notebook and write down the daily values for each member of your family and you’re done. You’d better invest the money difference in buying a more accurate and wireless monitor. Accuracy for both pulse and blood pressure should be on the specifications list of every model.
Some of the fancier wrist blood pressure monitor brands will have an averaging feature. If you measure your BP three times within 10 minutes, the device will display the average of the three readings. This could be an interesting option to have, taking into consideration how sensitive to the arm position these monitors are.
The cuff size should fit you wrist. This number is also on the specifications list, but you need to remember to check it out, otherwise your BP monitor will be useless and you’ll have to return it.
Like other measuring devices, wrist BP monitors may lose their calibration in time. This is why it is advisable to do a recalibration every two years. You can’t do this by yourself, so it means you probably need to send your device to the manufacturer. Make sure to ask before making the purchase, whether such services are offered and for what kind of price.
If additionally to hypertension you also suffer from tachycardia, it is a good idea to get a monitor that measures the pulse as well. If you suffer from arrhythmia, you can buy a monitor model with irregular heart beat detectors. You’ll probably have to pay a bit more, but you’ll regain your peace of mind, knowing that you have all your heart conditions under control.
Lastly, another point of differentiation between various brands (Omron, CVS, Panasonic, Ozeri, Advocate, LifeSource, Homedics, Santamedical, Adscope) and models of BP monitors is the warranty length. Perhaps it is a good idea, if you can afford it, to get one of the monitors that come with 5 year warranty instead of 2 years as most cheap ones offer.
Regardless of your choice of wrist blood pressure monitor, make sure you preserve it in best conditions, if you want to enjoy it for a long time. Always use it according to the instructions in the box and put it back in its case after each use.