Blood Pressure Monitor – How Does a Blood Pressure Monitor Work?

Blood pressure monitor devices prompt a lot of questions online because many people need guidance about how to choose and buy the one that will best suit their needs and their lifestyle.

Here’s a common set of concerns and it’s a fair bet that if you have a problem with hypertension, you’ll share many of these questions too:

Bob Thomas asked:

“I have high blood pressure and get it checked by a nurse once a month. I do worry between times that it is high and if it is being checked enough? I have read about blood pressure monitors for the home and was wondering if they are easy to use or if you need medical training to read the results.

I think it would give me peace of mind to know what my BP is like more often. Should i buy a blood pressure monitor?”

Well Bob – here are the main things to consider if you plan to invest in a simple device that quite literally could save your life.

Most available monitors are inexpensive and reliable but there are some basic tips to follow if you want your BP readings to be accurate.

  • Before measuring your blood pressure you should be seated and relaxed. You should be sitting in a quiet room and rest for at least 5 minutes before you begin your measurements.
  • Place your arm with the device at heart level while measuring, above heart rate gives a false high reading, below heart level gives a false low reading.
    For example, if you use a wrist device bend your arm and bring the device to your heart and rest it on your chest at heart level while measuring
  • Do not talk while you are measuring your blood pressure.
  • Always document your readings, with time and date so you can show the results to your doctor or nurse to discuss different readings.
  • When you first use the monitor take a reading on both the left and right arm and then in future use whichever arm gives you the higher reading. Always use the same arm for readings.
  • If you find that the difference between the readings on either arm is greater than 20mmHg systolic (top number) or 10mmHg diastolic (bottom number) talk to you doctor or nurse about your readings.

If you are still uncertain about the use of a blood pressure monitor you can and should ask the nurse that comes to measure your levels. She will be able to explain how to correctly use the monitor.

You need to remember that hypertension or high BP will usually cause no symptoms. Even if it does the symptoms are usually mild and nonspecific. This is what makes hypertension such a dangerous condition.

Cardiologists the world over now recommend that all of us who have hypertension should use a home BP monitor. Why not get yourself one today?