So you want to monitor your blood pressure regularly, but you don't know which blood pressure kit to buy? There are different types of blood pressure kits available, but you need to find out which one will suit your lifestyle best.
Basic types of blood pressure kits
Blood pressure monitors are classified into types of monitors: automatic or aneroid. You need adequate manual skills to operate an aneroid monitor, because it measures the blood pressure by monitoring the changes in Korotkoff sounds in the arteries. In automatic digital monitors, the blood pressure is measured using the oscillometric method, which automatically monitors the vibrations in the arteries in response to the cuff pressure and thereby determines the blood pressure reading.
If you are using an automatic digital monitor, all you have to do is to wrap the cuff around your arm and push the start button on the device. The machine will do the rest. This is relatively easier to use than the aneroid monitor.
Find a monitor with a cuff that is suitable for you
There are different types of digital blood pressure monitors, but you have to choose the one that is the most comfortable and practical for you. Cuffs are available in different sizes, but you have to measure your wrist or upper-arm before choosing the size that fits best. For those with larger upper-arms, try using a wrist blood pressure kit that is easy to use, fits any arm size and is very portable.
Make sure that the device displays accurate readings
Before you purchase a blood pressure kit, make sure that it is clinically validated by a trusted authority, such as the British Hypertension Society. A device is certified by such agencies only after a series of rigorous tests to ensure that it complies with medical standards.
Blood Pressure kits can be different prices, depending on the various features included. To monitor your blood pressure, all you really need is an accurate blood pressure kit and you can often do without the extra, more convenient features of the pricey models. Choose the monitor that best fits your budget. However, if you can afford to buy an expensive kit, you can benefit from the additional features by enjoying a more holistic blood pressure monitoring experience
Once, you purchase a blood pressure monitor and start using it, it is important that you calibrate it once every two years, so that you get accurate results all the time. Show your device to your doctor occasionally, to ensure that the readings are accurate. If you find anything wrong with the readings, send the monitor back to the manufacturer and get it re-calibrated.
If you are not sure how to operate your monitor, seek the assistance of a healthcare professional, who can explain how to take the readings. Especially when you have purchased a semi-automatic digital monitor, you need to learn how to manage the cuff pressure manually using the rubber ball. You can ask your doctor or a nurse to show you how to do it.