Hypertension, or more commonly known as high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of death around the world. According to statistics, the worldwide prevalence of hypertension is over 1.3 billion as of 2016.
In Australia alone, the ratio between adults who have hypertension and those who don’t is one in seven. This is a significant number of affected people, especially considering hypertension is mostly caused by unhealthy life choices. However, there are still a number of uncontrollable factors that can increase the risk of hypertension even if you try your best to live a healthy lifestyle - ethnicity, age, your family history and even other existing health conditions can all play a part in you getting high blood pressure.
When you have hypertension, it means that the blood applies too much pressure against the walls of your blood vessels as it is pumped throughout your body. The force it applies against the vessel linings can cause severe damage if left untreated and uncontrolled; it can lead to more serious conditions like blood clots, strokes, aneurysms, coronary heart disease, and heart enlargement, among others. Some cases of hypertension are also known to cause damage to the kidneys, eyes, and the brain.
Hence, it is important to take regular readings of your blood pressure so you can monitor and detect any changes in your normal ranges, and get the necessary treatment if needed. If you think that you might be at risk of hypertension or simply prefer early prevention, you might want to consider buying a blood pressure monitor that you can bring to the workplace or keep at home.
How Do I Choose the Right Blood Pressure Monitor?
There are a lot of things you need to consider when finding a blood pressure monitor that will suit your needs. First among these is the model of the monitor, you need to decide if you prefer the automatic or the manual model. The automatic model is a digital device which is easier to use. There will be a cuff that you need to wrap around your arm or wrist (depending on the style), and then you can inflate the cuff by using a rubber squeeze ball or in more advanced models, by simply pushing a button. After inflating the cuff, the pressure will start to go down by itself, and a digital readout of your blood pressure levels will be shown on the device screen. Shortly after showing your results, the cuff will deflate and the device will deactivate on its own. When using the manual model, you will need to learn how to use a stethoscope as you will be listening to the person’s pulse as blood passes through his/her arteries while looking at the device’s gauge for the blood pressure reading. The needle in the gauge will move as the pressure in the cuff increases and decreases, and you will be the one detect when it stops, and the resulting levels will make up the reading. It’s a lot harder to use the manual model, but it is also quite accurate as compared to the automatic model. The automatic model’s reading can be easily skewed by factors such as the patient’s movement during the test or any irregularities in his/her heart rate. Still, the overall convenience of the automatic model makes it preferable to most people. You need to identify which you prioritize - convenience, accuracy, or a certain combination of both - before committing to a model.
Another important feature to consider is the cuff size. Different devices and models offer varying cuff sizes, although the standard size most come in with is medium. If you or the intended patient’s arms are relatively smaller or bigger than most people, you might want to check for a model that fits your cuff size better so you can get more accurate results. The display feature of the device is also important, especially for digital models. The keys and the display should be easy to read so you won’t have trouble recording your results. There are models that speak out the result for you, but they also come at a higher price.
Today’s advancements in technology are applied in several automatic blood pressure monitors. If you’re looking for a monitor that can store your readings so you can always check and compare when needed, you need to consider the memory feature that comes with the device. The memory storage should be enough to record readings for all people who plan to use the monitor for getting their hypertension levels documented. There are models that will automatically show a prompt on the screen if an irregular heartbeat or hypertensive levels is detected, making it a lot easier to know if you need to schedule a visit to the doctor soon.
After considering the basic and advanced features of each blood pressure monitor in the market, you should also find a balance between your wanted model and your final budget before completing a purchase. If you wish to get more information on buying blood pressure monitors in Australia, you can always speak to professional medical suppliers like Emech Medical so that they can give you assistance, and hopefully help you find a blood pressure monitor that fits your priorities as well as your budget.