Measuring Blood Pressure Helps Maintain Heart Health

There are many different devices available used for measuring blood pressure, but the most accurate and consistently used is the Mercury sphygmomanometer and a stethoscope. This device consists of a tube containing mercury, an inflatable rubber cuff with a rubber bulb used to inflate the cuff and the tubes used to connect the cuff with the measuring device.

While many newer machines, designed for home use perform the same function automatically, the sphygmomanometer remains the most accurate means of measuring blood pressure and despite all the new technology most physicians use the manual readings to determine a person's precise blood pressure. Although the unit must still be used properly by a person trained in blood pressure readings, it remains the most effective and efficient method.

Many hospitals will keep an automatic device connected to a patient for measuring blood pressure but will still use the manual method for the most accuracy. With the manual method there are no moving parts, no electronics to veer slightly out of calibration and very little else to go wrong. They also require no calibration to maintain their accuracy. However, many people do use the automatic units when measuring blood pressure at home, as they are easier for one person to use.

Tracking Blood Pressure Helps Maintain Health

A person who has been diagnosed as having high blood pressure, that is readings consistently above 120 over 80 and is under a doctor's care, should get in the habit of measuring blood pressure at least weekly, if not more often. The time of day the blood pressure is taken should be consistent such as early in the morning before eating or drinking anything, in the middle of the day and just before going to bed.

By measuring blood pressure three times daily, changes can be spotted sooner and drastic variations can be related to the doctor indicating a change in medication may may be needed. Sudden spikes in a person's pressure may also be indicative of other health issues that will need to be addressed. Failure to seek help with high blood pressure can lead to other issues, some of which can be deadly.

With the increasing focus on measuring blood pressure many companies have developed reasonably priced units that are affordable and designed for easy use in the home. There are also wrist units designed for measuring blood pressure during activity to indicate how much activity a person can be involved with before their blood pressure begins to approach a dangerous level.