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Can A Smartwatch Measure Blood Pressure
The creator of this post has chosen the Omron HeartGuide smartwatch as the best model that can measure your blood pressure accurately.
Even though a high blood pressure can sometimes be discovered through different symptoms, most of the time it isnt noticeable at all.
Many people die every year because of high blood pressure without having any idea they had it, thereby it is also called The Silent Killer.
A blood pressure monitor is a device thats used in hospitals and at your own doctor to give you insights in your personal blood pressure values.
Buying one to use at home is possible as well but this device isnt very easy to use while youre not at home and can be annoying to carry with you all the time.
Thankfully, at this very moment, there are a decent amount of smartwatch models available on the market that can measure blood pressure. Some examples are the Asus Vivowatch BP, the Model X smartwatch and the Z18 smartwatch.
What Is The Difference Between Monitoring Blood Pressure Using A Home Digital Monitor As Opposed To Getting My Reading When I See My Doctor
Digital monitors measure blood pressure oscillometrically rather than by auscultation. In auscultation, stethoscopes are used to take blood pressure by listening for specific heartbeat sounds which the doctor then uses to determine systolic and diastolic pressures. Oscillometric technology measures the vibration of blood traveling through the arteries and converts the movement into digital readings.
Omron digital blood pressure monitors use the oscillometric method of blood pressure measurement. An oscillometric monitor does not need a stethoscope so the monitor is simple to use.
It is also important to note that Home Blood Pressure monitoring allows you to monitor frequently and share the results with your doctor if you desire.
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What Happens If Your 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor Isnt Taking Readings
If you notice that there are no visible readings on your monitor, when there were previously, then try to take preventative action when the monitor is taking a reading. When you feel the monitor start up try to keep your arm and hand still. Avoid movement while it is taking a reading and sit quietly if possible.
How Does A Manual Blood Pressure Monitor Work
This type of blood pressure monitor is one in which you or someone who helps you insufflate by pressing the knob of the blood pressure monitor to cause the cuff to fill with air. Once it has been filled enough, with a stethoscope you will hear the beeps that mark the maximum and minimum blood pressure.
Carrying out this process in a correct way supposes some training so that the measurement is good. One factor that you have to consider when going to a professional to measure your blood pressure is what is known as the white coat syndrome or hypertension . Tension increases due to the nervousness of going to a consultation and being in front of a doctor.
This would be a false diagnosis of hypertension, however you can avoid it with self-measurement of blood pressure at various times of the day and for several days. With these data, your doctor will be able to make an assessment and establish a more reliable diagnosis.
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Choose Arm Cuffs Over Wrist Cuffs
You can purchase a blood pressure monitor at any drugstore or online. No matter where you buy yours, Dr. Laffin recommends getting a monitor with an automatic cuff that wraps around your upper arm. Its called a brachial blood pressure monitor.
Dont get one where you need a stethoscope, he says. An automatic cuff is best. And if youre over age 50, avoid cuffs that go around your wrist.
Wrist cuffs are likely fine if youre under 50, he says.
How Do Automatic Blood Pressure Monitors Work
Over time, untreated or undetected blood pressure can permanently weaken and damage your blood vessels. Having high blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accounts as the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
High blood pressure can be managed through monitoring by your physician and at home 1. The most common way you can regularly check your blood pressure at home is through the use of an automatic blood pressure cuff.
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How Blood Pressure Is Tested
A device called a sphygmomanometer will be used to measure your blood pressure.
This usually consists of a stethoscope, arm cuff, pump and dial, although automatic devices that use sensors and have a digital display are also commonly used nowadays.
It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for the test. You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing, so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm. Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.
During the test:
- you hold out one of your arms so it’s at the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it your arm should be supported in this position, such as with a cushion or arm of a chair
- the cuff is pumped up to restrict the blood flow in your arm this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds
- the pressure in the cuff is slowly released while a stethoscope is used to listen to your pulse
- the pressure in the cuff is recorded at 2 points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm these measurements are used to give your blood pressure reading
You can usually find out your result straight away, either from the healthcare professional carrying out the test or on the digital display.
How Can I Check My Blood Pressure
At first, your doctor will want you to come to the office regularly when you start treatment to lower your blood pressure. Your blood pressure will be checked at the office.
You also may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and to keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times in a day. In this case, your doctor may have you use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
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Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood pressure tests can also be carried out at home using your own digital blood pressure monitor.
This can give a better reflection of your blood pressure, as being tested in somewhere like a GP surgery can make you feel anxious and can affect the result. It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.
You can buy a variety of low-cost monitors so you can test your blood pressure at home or while you’re out and about.
It’s important to make sure you use equipment that has been properly tested. The British Hypertension Society has information about validated blood pressure monitors you can buy.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your blood pressure measured, you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Why Is My Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor Giving High Readings
The most common cause of high readings when using a wrist blood pressure monitor is because the user does not have the wrist monitor at heart level. When using a wrist monitor, pleas ensure the device is at heart level when taking a reading. Also note that there may be actual differences between your blood pressure at the upper arm site and the wrist site.
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What To Look For In A Blood Pressure Monitor
Fit: The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor. Wrist and finger monitors are not recommended because they yield less reliable readings, they explain on their website. However, we did include a few wrist monitors, which can be a better fit for someone with larger arms. Most importantly, make sure your cuff is well-fitting. Measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff, advises the AHA.
Features: Like any gadget, blood pressure monitors offer varying bells and whistles. If you are tech-savvy, you might want to consider going with a model that includes features like Bluetooth, app connectivity, and ample storage for readings. However, for others, it isnt worth paying for a state-of-the-art gadget and you are better off sticking with something that is efficient and easy to use.
Budget: High quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment, and that you will be using it daily for several years.
Other Considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant woman or child, to make sure it is validated for these conditions.
How To Use A Home Blood Pressure Monitor
- Be still. Don’t smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. Empty your bladder and ensure at least 5 minutes of quiet rest before measurements.
- Sit correctly.Sit with your back straight and supported . Your feet should be flat on the floor and your legs should not be crossed. Your arm should be supported on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. Make sure the bottom of the cuff is placed directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor’s instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
- Measure at the same time every day. Its important to take the readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
- Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time you measure, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
- Don’t take the measurement over clothes.
|HIGHER THAN 120
Note: A diagnosis of high blood pressure must be confirmed with a medical professional. A doctor should also evaluate any unusually low blood pressure readings.
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When To Check Blood Pressure
If youre using a blood pressure monitor on your doctors advice, he or she should tell you when to take readings. As a rule, though, you should take them at the same time of day on each occasion, so youre comparing like with like.
Take a few readings each time, a couple of minutes apart, and calculate the average to make the figures more representative. And if your blood pressure monitor doesnt store your readings for you, jot them down in a notebook to get an idea of long-term trends.
Bupa . High blood pressure. Retrieved from www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/heart-blood-circulation/high-blood-pressure-hypertension
American Heart Association . Monitoring your blood pressure at home. Retrieved from www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home
How Does A Blood Pressure Gauge Work
Your heart is an amazing pump. It works reliably for decades, and it safely pumps blood — one of the trickiest liquids around. In the same way, your blood vessels are pipes. They take the output from the pump and distribute it throughout the body. A blood pressure gauge is simply a way to measure the performance of the pump and the pipes.
There are two numbers in a blood pressure reading: systolic and diastolic. For example, a typical reading might be 120/80. When the doctor puts the cuff around your arm and pumps it up, what he/she is doing is cutting off the blood flow with the pressure exerted by the cuff. As the pressure in the cuff is released, blood starts flowing again and the doctor can hear the flow in the stethoscope. The number at which blood starts flowing is the measure of the maximum output pressure of the heart . The doctor continues releasing the pressure on the cuff and listens until there is no sound. That number indicates the pressure in the system when the heart is relaxed .
If the numbers are too high, it means that the heart is having to work too hard because of restrictions in the pipes. Certain hormones, like adrenaline cause certain blood vessels to constrict, and this raises your blood pressure — if you are under constant stress, your blood pressure goes up, and it means that your heart has to work too hard. Other things that can increase the blood pressure include deposits in the pipes and a loss of elasticity as the blood vessels age.
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Why You Should Get A Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor
Monitoring your blood pressure at home is a good idea for everyone.
Research shows that adults with hypertension who monitor their blood pressure at home are more likely to successfully lower their readings compared with usual care.
There’s a reason why your doctor takes your blood pressure nearly every time you step into their office: It’s a quick and painless way to get a snapshot of your heart health. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
That’s because blood pressure can change based on a variety of factors, including pain, temperature, physical exertion and even doctor’s visits.
So how do you avoid these potentially false positives and false negatives? Do DIY testing.
If you can’t imagine yourself sitting at your kitchen table manually pumping up a blood pressure cuff, don’t worry. The newest crop of over-the-counter monitors are wireless, digital and easier than ever to use. Here’s what you need to know before buying one.
How To Take Blood Pressure Readings
Taking readings requires some thought and preparation, though it will soon become second nature. There are several things to remember:
- Relax. Steer clear of caffeine and exercise for thirty minutes beforehand, and rest for a few minutes. Sit comfortably upright with your feet flat on the floor and with your back supported.
- Position your arm correctly. Rest it on a flat surface, with your upper arm level with your heart.
- Position the cuff correctly, with the bottom edge just above your elbow.
The instruction manual of your device will also provide you with clear instructions.
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What Happens Once Youve Had The Results Of Your 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor
Youll have to wait for the results to be analysed. Well, if your surgery is anything like mine. For me personally I had to drop my 24 hour blood pressure monitor back and then had to wait a few days for my GP to assess the results. This was frustrating but such is the life in the over stretched NHS!
You may have to have medication. Alternatively you may have to visit hospital to have further tests carried out depending on what your results are.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a great way for medics to find out if youre genuinely suffering high blood pressure or if it is stress related by white coat syndrome.
My 24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor Hurts:
It may be painful to wear the cuff. If youre sensitive to pain, or bruise easily, then you ARE going to be uncomfortable wearing the cuff. However, speaking as someone who has had two strokes Id say wearing the cuff for a day is a lot less painful than a stroke! If your 24 hour blood pressure monitor hurts this is probably normal. Its squeezing your arm, and bruising it again and again.
Try to count calmly through the pain to help yourself. Also, stay relaxed and avoid clenching. If you clench this may give a higher reading.
Expect a bruised arm afterwards. Whether you are thin or not. The cuff will be inflating frequently throughout the day and night and this is likely to cause some bruising of your skin. I had a load of line bruises, that lasted for a good week.
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