This is because blood pressure can change due to a variety of factors, including pain, temperature, exercise, and even doctor visits.
How do you avoid these potentially false positives and false negatives? Do DIY tests.
If you can not imagine sitting at your kitchen table and manually pumping up a blood pressure cuff, do not worry. The latest over-the-counter monitors are wireless, digital and more user-friendly than ever before. You need to know the following before buying.
How do wireless blood pressure monitors work?
Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through your circulatory system and puts pressure on the walls of your blood vessels. Blood pressure monitors normally measure the force of this pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) with a so-called sphygmomanometer.
A sphygmomanometer inflates a rubber cuff wrapped around the fingers, wrist, or upper arm until blood stops flowing through the brachial artery or radial artery. As the air slowly escapes from the cuff, blood flows back through the artery, producing a throbbing sound that can be detected with a stethoscope or an algorithm.
Your systolic blood pressure is the pressure value recorded when this throbbing sound sets in for the first time. Your diastolic blood pressure occurs when it stops.
Digital wireless blood pressure monitors display your results on the main device in an associated smartphone app, where you can view charts and trends, and sync data with additional apps, such as Apple Health, or both.
The measurement is written as two numbers. The tip is your systolic blood pressure (the pressure when your heart beats). The reason is your diastolic blood pressure (the pressure between the strokes). A healthy blood pressure range is between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg.
Who are cordless blood pressure monitors suitable for?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and other health organizations recommend people with high blood pressure to measure these at home a practice called Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring (SMBP) or Home Blood Pressure Monitoring (HBPM).
Blood pressure naturally rises and falls throughout the day, but chronically high levels (at least 130/80 mmHg) can be a sign that your heart is tense and working too hard, which is called hypertension. High blood pressure often has no obvious signs or symptoms, which is why he is referred to as a "silent killer". Over time, the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart and kidney failure may increase.
SMBP may help to rule out "white coat hypertension," in which the blood pressure in the doctor's office is high in everyday life, and masked hypertension, in which the blood pressure in the doctor's office is normal but elevated in daily life.
"Blood pressure measurement at every routine office visit is not required at best and, in the worst case, can lead to false conclusions about a person's high blood pressure status," says clinical cardiologist Erica S. Spatz investigators at the Yale New Haven Health Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and evaluation. "Ideally, we would use blood pressure levels at home to look for and monitor for high blood pressure, which provides more insight into a person's actual high blood pressure status and better correlates with the results that are important to us, namely, heart disease, Stroke and kidney disease. "
It can also increase your sense of responsibility for your health and better control over your situation. Research has shown that adults with high blood pressure monitoring their blood pressure at home (with or without additional support) are more likely to lower their readings compared to usual care.
However, you do not have to have high blood pressure to benefit from wireless blood pressure monitors. You may also notice hypotension or chronically low blood pressure (below 90/60 mmHg, although this may vary from person to person). In some people, hypotension can cause no problems. In other cases, this may mean something more serious, such as heart failure or serious infections, especially if accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, fainting or nausea.
"Elder or frail people are particularly worried about falls," says Spatz. "Therefore, it is important to determine a low blood pressure, especially when standing."
Whether you have high or low blood pressure, SMBP monitoring can help you and your doctor identify problems early and monitor whether medications or lifestyle measures are effective. And all this while I make fewer visits to the patient Make office.
What if I do not have high or low blood pressure?
People who are otherwise healthy but have an increased risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular disease, such as: Individuals with early history of familial hypertension or preklampsia-prone women during pregnancy may also benefit from SMBP testing. "The occasional monitoring of home blood pressure can provide an early glimpse into high blood pressure and give the individuals the feedback they need to prevent the onset of hypertension," says Spatz.
Totally healthy? Occasional SMBP can still be helpful. "Knowing how your blood pressure responds to periods of stress or lack of sleep can create important connections between mind and body and motivate you to be more holistic in your cardiovascular health," says Spatz.
One caveat: Some people can not accurately measure blood pressure with these devices due to illness, birth defects, or conditions such as an irregular heartbeat. Therefore, talk to your doctor about whether SMBP is suitable for you. Blood Pressure Monitor
Wireless blood pressure monitors are widely used without a prescription, but it's worth being careful.
The AHA only recommends the use of oscillometric devices for the humerus, which have successfully passed the validation protocols under a 2019 scientific opinion in the medical journal Hypertension. (Oscillometric devices automatically detect and analyze pulse waves and do not rely on anyone hearing with a stethoscope.)
Although wrist-based monitors are practical, they are not recommended. Studies show that they are more likely to lead to inaccurate readings because they are very sensitive to posture (causing people to misuse them) and because the arteries on the wrist are tighter and not so deep under the skin.
Both the British Hypertension Society and the Irish Hypertension Society and Dabl Educational Trust websites maintain a list of validated sphygmomanometers, including upper arm cuff oscillometric devices. You can also bring your device to the doctor's office and compare the readings with those of your doctor. (If you are buying a monitor for an older person, a pregnant person, or a child, make sure that it is validated for this particular use.)
The size of the cuff is of paramount importance to accuracy. Too large or too small cuffs can lead to inaccurate readings. The AHA recommends the following scale-based sizing guidelines. You can also get help from a doctor or pharmacist.
Arm Sleeve Sizing Guidelines
|Arm circumference||Usual cuff size|
|22-26 cm||Little adult|
|35-44 cm||Great adult|
Typical price range of approximately $ 30 to $ 100, although a higher price may not necessarily correspond to a higher quality. If you're ready to spend a little extra on bells and whistles (your insurance can help you with the cost), look for the following helpful features:
- An automatic monitor. Search for a device that allows you to start a reading at the push of a button.
- Customizable readings. Some devices perform three consecutive measurements and automatically calculate the average according to the AHA recommendations.
- A digital ad. Regardless of whether it is displayed on the device or in an associated app, the reading should be clear and easy to read.
- divisibility. If you are managing an existing condition, devices that store your readings together with the date and time and are the best way to export them or to share them with your doctor ,
Using a Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
"Controlling your blood pressure at home should not be annoying," says Spatz. "I recommend patients with stable hypertension to remove the cuff the week before their appointment and measure it twice a day so that we can use these measurements as a guideline for our management – unless we actively change the treatment plan, patients can put the cuff away." Cuff to the next visit. "
You should talk with your doctor about which routine is right for you. In general, some best practices are listed here:
- Measure your blood pressure twice a day. Ideally, every day at the same time. Take the first morning mornings before going to the toilet before eating, exercising, drinking caffeinated drinks, or taking medications. Take the second measurement before dinner or at least 30 minutes after eating food, alcohol, caffeine or tobacco. Go back to the bathroom first, as a full bladder can easily raise your blood pressure.
- Make yourself comfortable. You should be sitting on a chair, supporting your back with your legs straight and your feet flat on the floor.
- Position your arm properly . Always use the same arm to measure your blood pressure (if an arm leads to a higher reading, use it). Place it with the upper arm at heart level on a flat surface such as a table (support it with a pillow if it is too low). The cuff should be placed tightly but not tightly around the bare skin of your upper arm, just above the bend of your elbow.
- Sit quietly. Take five minutes to relax in this position. Try not to think about anything stressful.
- Take two to three measurements . Keep your body in the same position and try not to talk while your device is taking a reading. If your device does not automatically record your result, make a note of it along with the time. Leave the cuff deflated, wait one to two minutes, and then take another measurement. Repeat this process a third time, then average the results. It is normal that your blood pressure at home is about five points lower than in the doctor's office.
When to see a doctor about your blood pressure
"A blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg is ideal," says Spatz. However, your doctor will discuss which number is appropriate for you.
If you get a higher or lower value than this value, do not be worried. Make additional measurements using the guidelines above.
If your measurements suddenly rise above 180/120 mm Hg, the AHA recommends waiting and retesting for five minutes. If your blood pressure is still excessively high, contact your doctor immediately.
If your blood pressure continues to exceed 180/20 mm Hg and you experience symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, dyspnoea, or vision problems, call 911.
When your blood pressure is lower Consult your doctor if you experience dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, or other unusual conditions.
"While monitoring blood pressure at home can be done independently of a few simple guidelines, it is still important to have a trusted doctor or trusted nurse available to assist with the interpretation of the readings," says Spatz. "Blood pressure varies tremendously throughout the day, and there may be spikes or drops in blood pressure that may not be clinically relevant."
Note: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and for informational purposes only and is not intended as a medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a disease or health goals.