Why Choosing the Right Blood Pressure Monitor Could Be Vital to Your Health
Published December 7 2020
Although the blood pressure monitor might seem like a modern tool, but it’s actually over a hundred years old. Mechanical blood pressure monitors, or sphygmomanometers, helped doctors and field medics treat soldiers during World War I, where the first blood transfusions also took place.
We’ve come a long way from bulky contraptions that needed columns of mercury to be measured, but most of those changes have been cosmetic. The science behind a blood pressure monitor is simple and relatively unchanged all the way since the 1880s, so you might think that all blood pressure monitors will give the same results. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Blood pressure monitors can vary highly in quality and accuracy. So how do you know you’re getting a consistent, accurate measurement? It helps to know what to look for.
Upper Arm Is King
Some modern blood pressure monitors will measure from the wrist instead of the upper arm, since it’s possible to use a smaller cuff that way. Unfortunately, wrist measurements are notoriously unreliable. Wrist arteries are narrower and closer to the surface than those in the upper arm, leading to results that are typically higher and less accurate.
It is safe to say that in most cases, upper arm type blood pressure monitors are more accurate. For those who suffer from blood pressure irregularities, it is imperative to get accurate reading every time.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that wrist monitors only be used if the user cannot use upper arm monitors due to pain or find the right size cuff to fit their upper arm. .
Easy Inflation, Easy Measurements
Digital blood pressure monitors work by detecting the oscillation of blood back and forth in the body – that is, the pulse. As the cuff inflates, it puts more pressure on the arteries, which in turn affect how the blood inside moves, which is measured by a pressure sensor. If the cuff doesn’t fit right or if there are any irregularities in the way it inflates, that might lead to inaccuracies in the readout.
The Best Gratification Isn’t Instant
To get accurate measurements, a blood pressure monitor cuff will inflate to a pressure greater than the systolic pressure (the pressure that your blood exerts on your artery walls when your heart beats) and then slowly deflate to a pressure lower than the diastolic pressure (the pressure that your blood exerts on your artery walls between heartbeats). It measures in between every step of the way, so getting an accurate reading can take up to 30 seconds. Machines that claim to “instant read” or “quick read” are selling you something – and it’s not accurate results.
So What Makes A Good Blood Pressure Monitor?
It’s easy to get the same results with a blood pressure monitor at home as you do in the doctor’s office – as long as the blood pressure monitor is an upper arm monitor that has been carefully calibrated, FDA-approved, and quality-tested for accuracy and consistency, like the PeakLife360 Blood Pressure Monitor.
Highly portable and highly accurate, the PeakLife360 Blood Pressure Monitor will give you the peace of mind you need to take charge of your health at home.