High blood pressure is the most common problem with the Indian population. This chronic disease is simple to control but needs a lot of patience and time to put its level back to track. A proper medication with a healthy lifestyle will do half of the job, while a daily self monitorisation process will make the treatment complete.
The importance of self-monitorization lies in the fact that it will help you keep an eye on your blood pressure level without visiting your healthcare provider or physician daily. So with a BP monitor, you will never miss any sudden change in your BP.
The most common type of BP monitors we use is the upper arm BP monitors, which may not work for some people because of their restricted cuff sizes. Or, there are few peoples seeks for more innovative gadgets with a compact size. So, wrist BP monitors can be a perfect choice for those people.
This article has covered a detailed discussion about wrist blood pressure monitors you need to know to get one for yourself.
What are the Wrist Blood Pressure Monitors?
Wrist BP monitors are a machine used to measure the individual’s blood pressure, mostly for self-monitorization purposes at home. As the name suggests, the cuff of these monitors needs to be put around the wrist. These cuffs automatically inflate and deflate with a button press and show you the result in the display unit at the end of the test.
They have similar features to the upper arm monitors like WHO indicator, heart rate display, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. The only physical difference they have from upper arm monitors is their compact size, with the cuff being attached to the display.
What are the Pros and Cons of the Wrist BP Monitors?
It is given the fact that every gadget has pros and cons. But what we need to consider is do the pros weigh more significant than the con part or not. So, we have listed down the pros and cons of wrist blood pressure monitors below for better understanding.
Wrist BP monitors have been designed to function automatically with just a press of the start/stop button. So, using them for self-monitorization requires little to no learning.
Can measure heart rate
Like the upper arm BP monitors, these wrist monitors are also designed to measure the users’ pulse rate and blood pressure.
Upper arm size doesn’t matter.
In upper arm BP monitors, the arm cuff size is restricted to 22 to 32 cm, which can fit most users. But there are specific populations whose arm size is either less or more than the average size. So, for these people, wrist BP monitors are the alternative process for self-monitoring. It s because no matter how chubby or thin you are, the wrist size will vary less than the upper arm size.
Small and lightweight
As the wrist monitors use a small display unit with a wrist cuff attached to it, the gadget becomes compact. It also makes these monitors very lightweight than the upper arm monitor.
As the wrist blood pressure monitors are compact in size and lightweight, you will be more comfortable carrying it along with you. It will occupy a little space in your backpack.
Wrist BP monitors are less accurate than the upper arm blood pressure monitors.
While using a wrist BP monitors, users often face the most common problem of excessively high reading. It mainly occurs because these monitors are too positioned sensitive, which the users fail to understand.
Difficulty in positioning the cuff level
Holding a wrist BP monitor at the heart level is a mandatory condition to obtain accurate results. But, for some users, especially the older persons, it becomes difficult to hold up their hand in such a specific position even for 1-2 minutes.
Measures lesser blood vessel pressure
We have a lesser number of blood vessels in our wrist than our upper arm. So, it is a given fact that wrist monitor measures pressure in fewer blood vessels, which is one reason for its inaccuracy.
So, in short, the fundamental problems of wrist BP monitors lies in its accuracy and reliability.
How to use a Wrist BP Monitors properly?
It is a well-known fact that wrist BP monitors are likely to give lesser accuracy than the upper arm BP monitors. So, using it properly is the best way to obtain greater accuracy.
Using a wrist BP monitor is not a very complicated process, but you must keep an eye on specific issues while working with it. To make the process more straightforward to understand and follow, we have broken the procedure into three sections as follows:
Positions of the user and the cuff
- Before starting with the measurement procedure, calm yourself down. You can do this by sitting in a comfortable still position on a chair, with your back supported and feet flat on the floor. Continue this for 5 minutes, and you are ready to take the measurement.
- To let the BP unit to take the measurement precisely, let it sit on the bare skin of your arm. Remove any fabric or sleeve from between the wrist skin and monitor.
- Secure the cuff on your left wrist with at least ½ inch gap from the wrist bone, such that the monitor is on your inner arm. This position of the monitor helps it to get your most vital pulse. Then hold the bottom part of the cuff to wrap it around and fasten it to the velcro comfortably.
- Now, set your left elbow and arm against your chest such that your left wrist is elevated to your heart level. To keep the position comfortable, you can support your left elbow with your right palm.
After you have settled down in a comfortable position and wrap the cuff around your wrist correctly, you are ready to take the measures.
- Press the power or start button on to activate the monitor. Few wrists BP monitors beep and start inflating on its own when a correct position is reached. But for a few monitors, you need to press the start/go button once to let the monitor start your measurement.
- Note: If your wrist BP monitor is a multiple user tracker, make sure to choose your profile before starting the process.
- Hold your position still until your cuff deflates and displays your result.
- Note down the result in an app or notebook.
- After each reading, it’s normal for your blood pressure to increase momentarily. To take more readings for average, leave the cuff in its place and wait for 2 to 3 minutes. By that time, your BP will calm down to normal, and you can take the next readings using the same procedure.
- In case you get one reading high, take a gap of 5 to 7 minutes, and recheck the blood pressure.
- Press the stop button to off the monitor.
Working on preciseness
These are the following points we must keep in mind before we start our measurement process.
- Avoid eating, exercise, bathing, drinking alcohol, and smoking within 30 minutes of taking the test.
- Our blood pressure varies depending upon the time of the day. Therefore, it is suggested to take a reading at the same time each day.
- If you self-monitor your blood pressure in the morning, take the test before breakfast and morning exercise.
- Avoid talking or any movement while taking the measurement, preventing the monitor from taking an accurate reading.
Do wrist blood pressure cuffs run high?
The wrist arteries are narrower than the artier in our upper arms. Moreover, they don’t run as deep under our skin as those of the upper arm. So, when you take the blood pressure using a wrist BP monitors, the readings are likely to be higher and less accurate than the upper arm monitors.
Why should the arm be at heart level when taking blood pressure readings?
It is mandatory to keep your wrist at the heart level to get a more precise reading of your blood pressure. If your wrist rest below the heart level, you will get an overestimated reading of your systolic and diastolic pressure. And if the wrist level lies below the heart level, the estimated will be lower than the actual one.
Can tight cuff cause a high reading?
Wearing the cuff too tightly can add 2 to 10 points to your actual blood pressure reading. Moreover, if you wear your wrist cuff over clothing, it can increase blood pressure by 10 to 50 points. So, while using a wrist blood pressure monitor, you need to keep these points in your mind to gain greater accuracy.
From which wrist should I take the reading?
There is no hard and fast rule about the wrist’s choice for taking blood pressure reading, as the wrist monitors are designed to arm independently. Most users prefer to wear the cuff on their non-dominant hand as it helps them adjust the cuff properly.
Do I need to wear the cuff on the same hand each time?
Yes, it a must thing you need to do to get a more accurate result.
There is a small difference in the pressure between our left arm and right arm. If you take the same arm’s reading, you will get more accurate results, each close to one another.
How tight should I wrap my wrist BP monitor?
While you fasten the cuff with the velcro, make sure to make it neither too tight nor too loose. After securing the cuff, you should be able to get a single finger underneath it.