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Blood pressure monitors give you the ability to monitor your blood pressure at home. Some research shows people who follow their blood pressure at home have more success controlling it. That's important since uncontrolled high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney damage. The blood pressure monitors available are easier than ever to use and allow close monitoring of blood pressure readings.
When you visit your doctor for a blood pressure reading, you may feel rushed or anxious. Therefore, the reading your doctor gets may not represent what your blood pressure is when you're at home or at work. Some people also have "masked hypertension." With masked hypertension, blood pressure is high at home but normal at the doctor's office. When you monitor your pressure, you get a better idea of how it varies over the course of the day. By keeping a record of these readings, your doctor can get a better idea of how your blood pressure therapy is working and whether changes need to be made.
A manual blood pressure kit offers an inexpensive way to monitor your blood pressure. With this type of blood pressure monitor, you manually inflate the cuff and read the pressure by looking at the circular dial. They're very similar to what most doctors' offices use and require a stethoscope. It takes a little practice to get proficient at it but once you do, it's quick and easy to use.
Also available are automatic blood and semi-automatic blood pressure monitors. With semi-automated monitors, you inflate the cuff but the reading is automatically displayed for you. Many people prefer automatic monitors where everything is done for them. Once you put your arm in the cuff, it inflates and deflates automatically and your blood pressure is displayed on a screen. Most models "remember" a certain number of readings so you can refer back to them even if you forget to write them down.
Some blood pressure monitors fit around your wrist and have the added capability of letting you know when it detects an irregular heart rhythm. You can choose one with sound capabilities that "speaks" your blood pressure in English or Spanish. Blood pressure monitoring systems are also available for people with larger arms and for children and babies that need different cuff sizes. For the ultimate in portability, wrist blood pressure monitors attach easily to your wrist and monitor your blood pressure and monitor your heart rate. They record and store blood pressure and pulse readings so you can review them or save them to show your doctor.
It's never been easier or more convenient to monitor your blood pressure. It also saves time since you don't have to go somewhere to check your pressure. Be sure to see your doctor or health care professional as recommended for your blood pressure even if you monitor it at home.