Last Updated on
The blood pressure monitor is a medical device invented by Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch at the end of the 19th century. Although it may seem like a modern product, but it is used by doctors for several hundred years. It is also called a sphygmomanometer or sphygmometer, the meaning of its name comes from its function, i.e. pressure measurement. It has a unit of measure, which I am sure you do not know unless you study medicine, it is the millimetre of mercury, abbreviated mmHg.
It seems like a relatively simple device to use and which do not have such great importance. Nothing could be more wrong! Have you ever seen a doctor who walks without it? It will never happen. The doctor, who comes to your home first, of course, depending on the problem you have, will bring out his pressure gauge. Its importance in the medical field is tremendous. In today’s world, there are much more people than we think, suffering from arterial diseases. Think about how it would be difficult to measure the arterial pressure without this tool. It is appropriate to say that if there were no such device, it would be necessary to invent it! Let’s move on to main technical characteristics of the sphygmomanometer.
Comparison of the best blood pressure monitors for 2019
- 1 Comparison of the best blood pressure monitors for 2019
- 2 The importance of measuring the pressure
- 3 Blood pressure values
- 4 How does a blood pressure monitor functions
- 5 How does an aneroid blood pressure monitor functions
- 6 Which is better, digital or analogue blood pressure monitor?
- 7 What are the benefits of measuring your blood pressure regularly?
- 8 The best blood pressure monitor
- 9 A pressure gauge can save your life
- 10 What is the price of a blood pressure monitor?
The importance of measuring the pressure
Among the many things that we can do at home by ourselves, thanks to tools like the blood pressure monitor, which are for sale everywhere, and there are so many different models, is the important practice of measuring blood pressure. I know that you are bored to go to the clinic to do continuous check-ups, despite feeling yourself a lion, but keep pressure under control is something that should always be done, even when you feel fine.
If you are tired of going to a clinic or pharmacy periodically to check the pressure, blood pressure monitor can save you from this, they are not expensive and allows you to measure the pressure at home and without anybody’s help. If you have frequent headaches, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, facial flushing, palpitations or dizziness this can all be symptoms of an irregular pressure.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is nothing more than the force, then the pressure, exerted by the blood on the arteries during its circulation, when the left ventricle contracts we systole, when it relaxes we diastole. For this reason, the pressure measurement is given by two numbers, and measured in millimetres of mercury, mmHg.
The first number indicates the maximum pressure (systolic) that is when the heart contracts, the second number indicates the minimum pressure (diastolic) when the heart is in the process of relaxation.
The pressure may increase with age, as with the advancement of age the arteries become more rigid, but may also change during the whole day, it is highest in the morning, decreasing with the passing of hours, while in the evening tends to rise again. In the sleep phase instead, the arterial pressure tends to have much lower values than the ones registered during the day.
Why do you have to measure your blood pressure?
It is scientifically approved that a low pressure is a natural symptom of longevity. Instead, a high pressure creates a state called hypertension. It is one of the main risk factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases, also can cause damage to kidney and eyes.
This is why we recommend always to do preventive checks of blood pressure. In fact, you could be one of the millions with high blood pressure, without even knowing about it! Many patients with hypertension do not know they have it because this disease does not involve recognisable symptoms that can alert the person.
This disease is also called the silent killer. Many times you become aware of this situation only after an occasional check, done for some reason. Remember that it is never too late to improve your living conditions, start now by checking your blood pressure regularly.
Blood pressure valuesSeveral factors that can influence blood pressure values in a given community. These values can change based on various factors such as gender, age, your body weight, race, which device is used to measure pressure, time of day when you measure and finally the state of mental and physical health of the patient in question.
Based on these assessments, many wonder whether there are in nature the so-called ideal pressures, i.e., that are included in a normal range you can see, like a table. Numerous studies have been carried out over the years to determine these ideal ranges of blood pressure, and despite there can not be the value of ideal pressure, however, there are tables available that can help in understanding.
What are the normal values of blood pressure?
In adult age, the pressure is considered normal when the values are 115/120 for the systolic (commonly known as the “maximum”) and 75/80 for the diastolic (commonly known as the “minimum”). For example, the pressure values of a child, which also differ depending on the height of the newborn, are lower than that of adults, which in turn have the pressure values that are lower than those of older people.
This is due to the fact that the arteries of people with the years lose their elasticity, so the blood finds greater opposition to its flow. Even during the day, the blood pressure can have different values, reaching its maximum in the early morning and evening hours, undergoing a decline in the early afternoon.
The values to worry
When a patient reaches values of very high pressure as a maximum that exceeds 115/75 mmHg, then you may have cardiovascular problems. The problems may be worse or even result in pathological, that is when you start to talk about hypertension when the values reached 140/90 mmHg.
Generally, doctors believe that people who tend to have a low pressure can live longer because the low pressure protects against cardiovascular problems.
Diseases that load the heart and blood vessels are directly related to cardiovascular problems, which vary according to the presence of certain risk factors. Not only this increases danger for high blood pressure, but also according to whether one is a heavy smoker, if one is diabetic, obese, especially in the abdominal part, if one’s diet is rich in cholesterol, fat, sugar, alcohol abuse and finally, lead a sedentary lifestyle.
It can also be detected whether or not there is a cardiovascular risk by blood analysis, including cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine, fibrinogen and antithrombin III. Pay a lot of attention to the values of your blood pressure and remember that prevention is better than cure!
How does a blood pressure monitor functionsThere are two possibilities why you are here, you are a doctor and searching for a new blood pressure monitor, because the one you used since college abandoned you, or you are a “patient” who suffers from constant pressure jumps (hypertension is identified by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of death from cardiovascular problems, also 50% of the world population suffers from it, but not aware of it).
The blood pressure monitor consists of three main parts: the pump, the sleeve and the pressure gauge. But how to use them? If you are a doctor, you can jump to the next section, or you can refresh the information in your memory. The sleeve must be wrapped around the arm, more or less at the height of the heart, crucial detail, misplacement of the sleeve, could lead to an alteration of pressure measurement. A stethoscope should be placed between the arm and the sleeve.
By pumping the air into the sleeve creates pressure on the arm that is much higher than the maximum, which is approximately 120 mmHg (millimetres of mercury). The stethoscope indicates by the emission of a sound if the maximum pressure is reached or not. If not, then you will need to continue to pump air into the sleeve. Through a valve which is usually located near the pump, your doctor may lower the pressure gradually, until the stethoscope does not emit the characteristic snap, indicating a systolic blood pressure, known as “maximum”, caused by the fact that the blood resumes its normal flow, but at maximum pressure.
This pop later will take on the trend of the heartbeat. When it ends, you will be able to read the diastolic blood pressure, known as “minimum”. At this point you got two results, that is your blood pressure. A very common mistake is to say that the maximum pressure follows the minimum pressure, as you have seen, in fact, the opposite is true, that is the minimum pressure follows the maximum.
How does an aneroid blood pressure monitor functionsLet’s take a brief tour on the use, care and maintenance of this unit. Professional caregivers are those who use aneroid sphygmomanometer. This tool is used to determine the blood pressure and verify the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, commonly known as max/min. It is good to remember that the aneroid monitor has some contraindications and attention to keep in mind. In fact, their use is not recommended for infants.
We also must not leave it at a pressure of 10 mmHg when it is inflated on the arm of a patient for more than 10 minutes, in fact, this may cause disturbances to the blood circulation, and damage peripheral nerves. Remember never to use the cuff if the patient has a delicate or damaged skin. Bear in mind that the patient must remain still during the measurements.
Well, and after talking about contraindications, let’s move on to the practical part of the product. The aneroid monitor consists of three main parts: an aneroid manometer, a complete inflation system and a carrying case. Usually these products come already pre-assembled, in the case where it isn’t you should connect manometer and bulb together with valves and pipes.
How to measure the pressure
First, the patient should be sitting or lying, in fact, measuring the pressure of a standing person alters the reading. If the patient is sitting, shall avoid crossing the legs, this could alter the reading. Make sure that the patient is relaxed. We know the effect that makes the white coat on some people, they begin to stir and sweat, and the pressure alters accordingly.
If the patient is relaxed, then you can apply cuff. It should be placed on the bare arm of the patient, and the mark should be directly above the artery. The lower edge should be approximately one centimetre from the fold of the elbow. Then you can close the wristband.
Now close the valve in a clockwise direction. Inflate the cuff quickly, if necessary, place a stethoscope that will emit a sound about the start of the reading. Now you can open the valve and deflate the cuff. When the stethoscope sounds you can detect the maximum, when it stops, you can detect the minimum.
How to store your aneroid blood pressure monitor
After taking pressure measurements, you can wrap the pipe and the valve around the cuff and put it in the case. You can clean up the gauge with a soft, dry cloth, I recommend not to disassemble it ever, in any case, this certainly would cause the failure of the pressure gauge. When packing away the pressure gauge, make sure that the pointer indicates the position of 0.
If your gauge, in the rest position, does not indicate a value of 0, it can not be used for any measurements but must be calibrated again. The bracelet instead can be cleaned with water or a mild detergent.
Finally, if your blood pressure monitor is dead (better him than the patient), it should be disposed of according to current regulations in the environmental field, both regionally and nationally. So do not even remotely think of throwing it away in municipal waste.
Which is better, digital or analogue blood pressure monitor?The digital era is now advancing relentlessly. It is really hard to find products that have gone digital yet available for sale in their analogue version. There are rare examples that nonetheless show that a digital one will never replace the charm of an analogue device. But there is no doubt that the digital measurements by many times are far more precise than an analogue one.
Simply think about your digital scales, would you substitute them with analogue? I doubt. That is why, if you are a doctor, now that we are in the so-called “modern era” it’s time to replace your old analogue blood pressure monitor with a digital one, and if you’re a new generation, your purchase can only be a more modern model and in step with the times.
Some models are so advanced that they have not only a digital display but also a touch screen, just like your smartphone. I am sure that when your patients will see your new blood pressure monitor, they will be more confident to deal with a doctor who keeps up with the times and equipped in the best way. It also affects your reputation!
What are the benefits of measuring your blood pressure regularly?The values of your blood pressure can vary throughout the day. In general, I can say that the pressure tends to be high in the morning, and drops during the day, returning to high levels in the late afternoon/evening. You can have pressure peaks also due to external causes such as the drop in temperatures, severe mood swings and strong physical exertion.
The development of hypertension can also be due to obesity, overweight, diabetes, cigarette smoking and age. It is important to measure blood pressure regularly because it gives no real symptoms about the appearance of cardiovascular complications. These complications lead to stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.
The ischemic diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide
Check your blood pressure by your personal blood pressure monitor, and you’ll avoid many complications. This concept was reaffirmed on April 4, 2013, during the World Health Day with the slogan “Check your blood pressure”. The cardiovascular problem is largely preventable and modifiable.
It is generally accepted that blood pressure increases proportionally with increasing age of the patient. This is because the arteries with ageing tend to become less elastic. Thus, it becomes more difficult for blood to pass through them. A tool like the blood pressure monitor at home can control your and your loved ones’ pressure and avoid complications.
The famous white coat effect
Usually, the pressure measurement is taken at a clinic or by a doctor in the pharmacy via a mercury sphygmomanometer. Clinical studies have demonstrated that blood pressure measured by a doctor in a white coat, is usually greater than that which is measured at home. This effect is called “white coat effect”, i.e., that unconscious fear that transmits to us the figure of the doctor.
At increased stress of the patient about to be examined by a professional, the blood pressure is higher. So, the use of a blood pressure monitor at home will give a better result compared with a measurement taken in a clinic or a pharmacy, just because you eliminate that factor concerning the doctor’s coat.
What are the advantages of self blood pressure measurements?
Pressure measurement should be performed while seated and relaxed after 5-10 minutes. It should be done on the left arm on the bare skin. The pressure should never be measured after caffeine intake or after physical exertion. And it is good practice to perform measurements in the morning or evening.
By following these simple guidelines, it is proved that the blood pressure measurements at home with your own device is absolutely precise and reliable. Even better than measurement conducted in the doctor’s office, since it reflects more the actual state of the pressure.
For this reason, the blood pressure measurement at home should be encouraged, including through the sale of such an important tool as the blood pressure monitor. The benefits that you will have will be notable for you and your family.
The best blood pressure monitorIf you’ve read up to this point I’m sure that you have a clear understanding of what this device is all about, for what is used, and especially its importance, even to own one at home for personal use. Every time you want to measure the pressure you will not have to wait for hours in line to see your personal doctor, the pressure gauge is easy to use, so, you might as well make this purchase and proceed to periodic inspections in a completely personal way. Below is a list of devices that I believe are the best, according to my needs. Try to make your own based on yours.
A pressure gauge can save your lifeDo you ever happen to have a continuous dizziness? Or how many times you went to bed feeling fine, and when you woke up, you looked like an old rag? Such things once in a while happen to all, but not all give weight to certain things, and we pass on as soon as a headache is gone, or energy came back. Unfortunately, this can not be the solution to the problem, a sudden drop in pressure can cause several problems, the hypotension occurs when the pressure at rest is below the value of 90/60. Less frequent, but still dangerous, the hypotension is often associated with severe headaches.
When the minimum pressure is a physiological issue, it may even be a friend fighting cardiovascular disease, but if it is a disorder created by external causes then the problem becomes more serious. This disease is more common among women. Even expectant mothers can suffer from low blood pressure due to vasodilation. Hypotension appears to be serious when it is followed or is accompanied by a certain pain level in the brain. A slight dizziness is the most common symptom, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position.
This is actually a defence system that our body implements to warn us about of an impending drop in blood pressure and draws our attention, in fact, what you do is just generally get to sit back until it passes completely. There is also pathological low blood pressure that leads to diseases that can cause sudden and sharp pressure drops. This dysfunction can also be caused by dysfunction of the heart pump. To prevent the problems or know your medical condition can literally save your life. Hypotension for both men and women can be very dangerous and cause an early death. It should be remembered that high blood pressure is the main cause of cardiovascular disease.
This disease causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, or around 155,000 deaths each year. So having a sphygmomanometer at home to control the pressure is something really fundamental, it should be a tool owned by everyone, just like a thermometer or a box of bandages. Remember a constant monitoring can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.
What is the price of a blood pressure monitor?In general, there are products that cost more and products that cost less, sometimes you buy depending on your budget, sometimes you do it by following a personal instinct and finally it is done by choosing one product over another. For this reason, I suggest you to read all the information on this site so that at the end you will be able to make an informed choice and not just based on price.
The products on our site fall into two very different prices ranges, some models like the Beurer BM 58, the Omron M10-IT or the Omron M6 Comfort belong to a price range that is around 60 pounds. While the Omron M2 Classic or the Beurer BM 35 cost significantly less, even less than half in the case of the latter.
But as always I want to clarify that a cheaper model does not mean worse, but rather doing fewer things than another, maybe they can also be built with excellent material, but sometimes you have to choose. An impartial advice that I can give is that if you need a blood pressure monitor for personal use only, not worth spending so much. Economic models of pressure gauge are probably what you want.