Blood pressure monitors allow you to keep track of your own blood pressure, in the peace and quiet of your own home, without having to go to the doctor. This will put you in control of your own health, so that you can look for signs of your blood pressure changing, and then visit the doctor when you need.
Measuring your blood pressure at home and keeping a record of the measurements will show you and your doctor how much your blood pressure changes during the day. Your doctor can use the measurements to see how well your medicine is working to control your high blood pressure. Also, measuring your own blood pressure is a good way to take part in managing your health.
To measure your blood pressure at home, you can use either an aneroid monitor or a digital monitor. The aneroid monitor has a dial gauge that is read by looking at a pointer. The cuff is inflated by squeezing a rubber bulb. Digital monitors have either manual or automatic cuffs.
One advantage of the aneroid monitor is that it is portable, and its cuff has a built-in stethoscope. The aneroid monitor also has some disadvantages. First, it is a complicated device that can easily be damaged and become less accurate. This monitor may not be appropriate for hearing-impaired people, because of the need to listen to heart sounds through the stethoscope.
Because the digital monitor is automatic, the blood pressure measurement is easy to read, since the numbers are shown on a screen. Some electronic monitors have a paper printout that gives you a record of the blood pressure reading.
A disadvantage of the digital monitor is that body movements or an irregular heart rate changes the accuracy. You should have your monitor checked once a year. Proper care and storage are also necessary. Make sure the tubing is not twisted when the monitor is stored, and keep it away from heat. Periodically check the tubing for cracks and leaks.