How To Use Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor
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The Purpose Of Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors? Wrist blood pressure monitors have made it easier for patients to get real-time blood pressure readings.
These devices are constantly improving in quality, technology, and accuracy, which help patients come up with a precise curve of their blood pressure. Eventually, doctors will be able to determine the best possible management plan for each patient.
Over the past few decades, chronic blood hypertension’s prevalence has skyrocketed, with millions of new cases diagnosed every year.
Unfortunately, this disease has a myriad of complications that destroy the body, including coronary artery disease, aortic dissection, and strokes.
Generally speaking, there are two major entities in the treatment of blood hypertension:
- Dietary and lifestyle modifications
- Pharmacological treatment
When implementing these two approaches, close monitoring of blood pressure is crucial to assess the effectiveness of any treatment and predict future complications. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about wrist blood pressure monitors, including their mechanism of action and how to use them.
How do wrist blood pressure monitors work?
To understand how wrist blood pressure monitors work, we need to review some basic physiological concepts.
At the center of the cardiovascular system, we have the heart, which is a hollow, muscular structure that’s composed of 4 chambers. The main function of the heart is to deliver oxygen and nutrients to peripheral tissues by pushing blood into the larger vessels (e.g., aorta, carotid artery, brachial artery).
Once the blood is in those large vessels, it travels down as the arteries get smaller in size until they reach microscopic levels. That’s where the vast majority of nutrient exchange occurs.
Due to the complex network of arteries that cover the entire body, the heart must push the blood using robust power generated by cardiac contraction. When the heart contracts, the pressure in the blood vessels is referred to as systolic pressure, which is the first element that a wrist blood pressure monitor measures.
During the relaxation phase, the pressure declines, giving us the second element of a typical blood pressure measurement – This is also known as diastolic pressure.
Wrist blood pressure monitors work by measuring the vibrations of blood flow through the wrist arteries. After that, they use a complex algorithm to calculate blood pressure.
That, in a nutshell, is how wrist blood pressure monitors work.
How to use wrist blood pressure monitors
To get accurate readings from your wrist blood pressure monitor, you should follow these steps:
Get some rest before the measure – Before you measure your blood pressure, you need to rest for at least 5 minutes. You should sit or lie down while you rest. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and avoid crossing your legs.
Keep your wrist clear of clothing – To allow your wrist blood pressure monitor to accurately detect blood flow vibrations, you need to pull up your sleeves. If you are wearing a jack or a sweater, take it off.
Wear the device properly – Tighten the cuff and place the display screen on the inside of your wrist. Wearing the device loosely might give you imprecise readings. You should also put the display on your inner arm. This is where the pulse is strongest.
Place your arm at heart level – To boost the accuracy of the readings, it is best to put your arm at heart level.
When to use a wrist blood pressure monitor?
The indications of wrist blood pressure monitors mainly focus on:
Screening, diagnosing and following up on blood pressure
Chronic blood hypertension is an extremely common medical condition that wreaks havoc on all organs, especially the heart and vessels. Fortunately, we can manage chronic hypertension with antihypertensive medications and blood pressure monitors.
Using wrist blood pressure monitors allows us to get blood pressure curves that help the doctor assess your vital signs over 24–72 hours instead of relying on one or two readings. This is useful for patients who have white coat syndrome, which is a psychological condition that leads to increased blood pressure when patients see healthcare professionals.
Wrist blood pressure monitors also help with following up on blood pressure to see whether the lifestyle modifications and pharmacological drugs are working.
Early signs of chronic high blood pressure
Chronic blood hypertension presents a myriad of signs and symptoms that involve every organ system.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms you may experience:
- Vision problems
- Dyspnea (i.e., shortness of breath)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Blood in the urine
Over time, high blood pressure leads to the deterioration of different layers of blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke, and aortic dissection.
Fortunately, if patients maintain healthy habits and take their medications as prescribed, the risk of complications is reduced.
How to diagnose this disease with wrist blood pressure monitors
The diagnosis of blood hypertension is straightforward.
You need to get 2/3 readings on your wrist blood pressure monitor with the following results:
- Systolic pressure above 140 mmHg
- Diastolic pressure above 90 mmHg
While wrist blood pressure monitors are great for detecting abnormal readings, you still need the expertise of a doctor to diagnose chronic high blood pressure. Your doctor will use a manual or digital blood pressure cuff. However, he/she will also take your medical history and ensure that the abnormal readings are not the result of some external factors (e.g., diet, medications).
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may suggest diet and exercise before opting for medications.
Wrist blood pressure monitors are crucial devices for the prompt diagnosis and management of chronic blood pressure. They also aid in detecting hypertensive emergencies, where the patient’s life is on the line.
We hope that this article managed to highlight the potential role of wrist blood pressure monitors in the management of blood hypertension.
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