Most Accurate: Digital Arm Monitors
Digital upper arm monitors are a great way to measure your blood pressure at home. Theyre more accurate than wrist monitors and theyre easier to master than analog upper arm monitors.
Their accuracy and ease of use make them a smart choice for most people. Plus, many digital arm monitors have user-friendly features like automatic cuff inflation and blood pressure reading storage.
However, digital arm monitors arent perfect. Theyre more expensive than other types of at-home monitors. In fact, some models are priced at over $100. Theyre also not always completely accurate.
Moving your body while the monitor is on can give a false read. Some digital arm monitors cant be used on your right arm, making those models difficult for some people to use. Finally, people with irregular heartbeats might not be able to get an accurate blood pressure reading from any type of digital monitor.
Does The Size Of The Cuff Matter
Yes, it is very important to use the appropriate size cuff for your arm in order to get accurate measurement results when using your home blood pressure monitor. If you use the wrong sized cuff, you will likely experience inaccurate readings, inconsistent readings and error messages from the device.
Factors That Can Affect Blood Pressure Readings:
1. You need a high-performance BP machine for accuracy.
AQESO wrist BP machine features with
- High-precision Medical Pressure Sensors working w/ powerful ASP algorithm to ensure accuracy and fast reading.
- The wrist cuff is pre-formed and adjustable to wrap on your wrist more easily. It features 360Âº around the circumference of your wrist to help reduce measurement errors and improve accuracy.
- 100,000+ clinical data are analyzed and validated to improve measurement accuracy.
2. Correct position of body and wrist
The position of both the body and the wrist during blood pressure measurement is often neglected. Please note, wrist BP monitors are more sensitive with body position than arm BP monitors to get an accurate reading. The position and other impact factors can change a blood pressure reading by 10% and even more.
Maintaining a correct sitting posture and correct application of the cuff are the keys for getting accurate blood pressure readings. Sit up straight with your back against the chair and keep relaxed, with your legs uncrossed. To make the height of your wrist aligned with the heart level, adjust the height of the desk or chair and use the included storage box for hand support. The cuff should be wrapped snuggly and securely by using the adjustable strap.
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Youve Placed The Cuff Incorrectly
The standard for blood pressure cuff placement is the upper arm using a cuff on bare skin with a stethoscope placed at the elbow fold over the brachial artery.
The patient should be sitting, with the arm supported at mid heart level, legs uncrossed, and not talking. Measurements can be made at other locations such as the wrist, fingers, feet, and calves but will produce varied readings depending on distance from the heart.
The mean pressure, interestingly, varies little between the aorta and peripheral arteries, while the systolic pressure increases and the diastolic decreases in the more distal vessels.
Crossing the legs increases systolic blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. About 20 percent of the population has differences of more than 10 mmHg pressure between the right and left arms. In cases where significant differences are observed, treatment decisions should be based on the higher of the two pressures.
What Are Some Common Reasons Why My Blood Pressure Readings Seem Higher Than Expected
There are many reasons why blood pressure readings may seem high. Below are some of the common reasons and the estimated ranges of how much readings can vary. It is important to ensure you are using the monitor as it was intended, so please make sure you are following the directions in the instruction manual, or call our consumer support line at if you have questions. It is also important to note that if you can continue to see high readings, discuss with your doctor or a medical professional it is possible that your blood pressure is actually higher than what you believe it to be.
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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.
|and/or||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.
What Else Do I Need To Know
- Do not take a BP reading in an arm that is injured or has an IV or shunt.
- Take your BP medicines as directed. Do not stop taking your medicines if your BP is at your goal. A BP at your goal means your medicine is working correctly.
- Bring the BP machine to your follow-up visit. Your healthcare provider can check that you are using it correctly.
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Keep Your Wrist Cuff At Heart Level
Not keeping your wrist cuff at heart level is probably the biggest mistake people make. If the cuff is below heart level, its easy to get a false reading too high. If your wrist cuff is above heart level, your readings can be false to the low side.
The best way to make sure your cuff is at heart level is the positioning of your arm. If you dont have a table to rest your elbow on, start with your upper arm hanging straight down close to your side.
Then bend your elbow, raising your forearm up and across your chest until your wrist cuff is level with your heart. Keep your upper arm down and close to your side as shown in the image below.
Some wrist monitors have a heart level sensor. The wrist monitor I highly recommend has a built in heart level guidance feature. You can check it out on Amazon by . I also wrote a whole blog post on it and why I think its the best wrist monitor which you can read right here.
Is It Normal For My Blood Pressure To Vary
Yes, it is quite normal for peoples blood pressure to change throughout the day and night, or in different settings where you may measure your blood pressure. Many things, such as stress levels, food or drink intake, activity levels, even time of day can all affect a persons blood pressure reading at any given time. In fact, there are published studies that show a given persons blood pressure can change by up to 20mm within a day, based on activity levels, food/drink intake, stress, etc. This is why it is important to take your blood pressure on a regular basis, and review the overall trend of your blood pressure readings with your doctor.
For a convenient tool to help you easily track your blood pressure readings, click here.
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How To Use A Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure measurements are important, so avoiding errors are crucial. Using a wrist blood pressure cuff can complicate matters. The differences in technique between a wrist cuff and upper arm cuff can produce false readings if not performed properly. Because of this, a question I get asked from many is, how to use a wrist blood pressure cuff?
How to use a wrist blood pressure cuff:
- Sit upright in a chair with feet flat on the floor and back supported.
- Place the wrist cuff around the bare wrist.
- Position the monitor on the inside of the wrist.
- Adjust the wrist cuff, so its snug with no space between the cuff and wrist.
- The end of the cuff should be approximately 1/2 to 1 inch from the wrist crease at the bottom of the palm.
- The wrist cuff should not cover the wrist bone protrusion on the outside of the wrist.
- Comfortably rest the elbow on a flat surface and raise the wrist to heart level.
- Keep the wrist and hand relaxed.
- Do not bend the wrist backward or forward.
- Begin the measurement.
This blog post will further explain each step and explain why they are necessary. In addition, Ill cover other habits which must be followed when using a wrist cuff. If youre looking to purchase a new wrist monitor, you can check out the one I recommend in my blog post, right here.
How To Take Blood Pressure At Home
Before you use your monitor, make sure you have not recently consumed any caffeine, as this can raise your blood pressure unexpectedly. Sit still with your feet flat on the floor and be sure to place the arm you’re using on a table or pillow. Make sure the cuff of your monitor is wrapped tightly around your upper arm before you begin. Follow the instructions that came with your monitor and allow the test to complete before recording your numbers. It’s always a good idea to write down or log your blood pressure daily if it’s a concern so you can talk to your doctor and give them accurate information.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Your Blood Pressure
Since blood pressure varies throughout the day, its best to check your blood pressure a few times a day. The best time to take your blood pressure is typically after you wake up and before you have breakfast, says Dr. Avetian. He also recommends taking it again in the eveningbetween dinner and bedtimewhen youre feeling relaxed.
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I Keep Getting Error Messages When I Try To Take A Reading What Should I Do
In the instruction manual that came with the unit, there is a section included on on the different types of error messages. Please review this section of the manual. You can locate electronic instruction manuals in our Product Support & Solutions Center.
If this does not fully resolve the issue, please contact the Omron consumer support line at 877/216-1333 or e-mail us your question.
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How Do Blood Pressure Monitors Typically Work
Blood pressure monitors measure two types of pressure, systolic and diastolic.
Systolic pressure is the top number. Its the pressure that occurs when your heart is beating and pushing blood through your arteries.
Diastolic pressure is the bottom number. Its the pressure that occurs when your heart is filling with blood between heartbeats.
Wrist and upper arm blood pressure monitors work in the same way:
How To Read Blood Pressure Readings
When reading a blood pressure result, there are two numbers that measure two different aspects of your blood pressure: systolic and diastolic. Systolic, the top number, is the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating, while diastolic, the bottom number, is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats.
Your blood pressure reading will show up as one number on top , a line, and then one number underneath the line . Acceptable readings will vary for individuals, but a healthy blood pressure level is generally considered to be 120/80 mm Hg or lower.
However, prior to using any type of home blood pressure monitor, a patient should have a discussion with his or her primary care provider about what readings are concerning and what to do if he or she gets those readings, says Dr. Feda.
Still, certain readings should be considered warning signs. If your blood pressure is over 180 systolic and in the range of 110-120 diastolic, that is an emergency that needs to be addressed and acted upon quickly, says Dr. Avetian. If you receive a reading in this range, contact your doctor immediately.
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How Do I Pair My Blood Pressure Monitor To My Mobile Device
Download the Omron Connect app from either Google Play or App Store. Turn on your phones Bluetooth and make sure its visible to other devices and launch the app. First create an account, then you can begin pairing your devices. Make sure your blood pressure monitor is clear. To do this, press the start/stop button. Now press and hold the clock button on your monitor until the flashing O appears. You mobile device will indicate that pairing is complete and that your readings have been uploaded. For more information, watch the video.
Why Should I Monitor My Blood Pressure At Home
The American Heart Association recommends that anyone with, or at risk of high blood pressure, should monitor their blood pressure at home. Home blood pressure monitoring is one of the best methods of trending a persons blood pressure in their own environment.
Click here for more information from the American Heart Association on who should monitor at home, and why.
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Using A Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
There are many reasons to choose a wrist blood pressure monitor over a conventional armband monitor. Care Touch Wrist Monitors offers you fast, accurate readings, but arent nearly as cumbersome. They are great for traveling, easy to store, and will provide reliable readings from anywhere. They are also good for people who have bigger arms and find the arm cuff of a traditional monitor uncomfortable.
Using your Care Touch Wrist Monitor correctly is essential to get the most accurate readings. There are also many factors that can affect your results. Before using your wrist monitor, take the following precautions to ensure that your results are as accurate as possible:
1. Take your blood pressure around the same time each day. It is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout through the day.
2. Do your reading in an environment with a moderate climate. Extreme temperatures can affect your results.
3. Avoid eating, exercising, bathing, smoking, or drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages for at least 30 minutes prior to testing.
4. Get into a comfortable, relaxed position and sit still for 5 minutes. Make sure your back is properly supported and your feet are flat on the floor.
5. Place the monitor on your wrist, approximately a half inch below your wrist bone. The monitor screen should be facing in the same direction as your palm. If you are wearing long sleeves, roll them up. There should be no fabric or other obstructions between the monitor and your wrist.
Are There Differences Between Taking A Blood Pressure Reading On The Right Arm Vs Left Arm
Blood pressure measurement values vary from the left arm to the right arm. The average is generally within 10 mmHg for most individuals. Omron home blood pressure monitors are generally designed for use on the left arm as they are validated through clinical studies using the left arm. You should talk to your doctor before using the right arm to take a measurement.
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Most Common Errors With Arm Position For A Wrist Monitor
Many people make mistakes using both an upper arm or wrist monitor. While I perform my research or observe people in general, I witness more mistakes with the wrist monitor 5. Unfortunately, these mistakes are part of what gives wrist monitors a bad reputation for being inaccurate. The following are the most common:
Using an arm position they would use with an upper arm cuff. I see many people resting their wrist down on their thighs while sitting down. While this would place an upper arm cuff close to heart level, it leaves a wrist cuff well below.
Using the correct arm position but standing up. I see this mistake performed more by people who are exercising. Ive seen runners stop and check their pressure while still standing. I cant count how many times Ive seen a bicycle rider perform this mistake. Theyll stop the bike and check their pressure with a wrist cuff while still standing and balancing the bike.
Without these mistakes, you may still question the accuracy of a wrist monitor. Youd be shocked how much a wrist cuff differed from an upper arm cuff in studies. I wrote all about that in my blog post, Are Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors Accurate?