Do Home Blood Pressure Monitors Read Higher?

The contributions of home-use BP monitors have become essential in hypertension patients’ lives. It helps them a lot to monitor their blood pressure and stay informed about their heart health. However, there are many reports that show sometimes at-home BP devices measure higher readings than the medical office. There can be any reason for that but the most common reason is called the masked hypertension effect. This effect can happen because of the calm and less stressful environment in a doctor’s office. Another reason can be the less knowledge about measuring their BP at home with a home BP monitor.  

Why Do We Need an At-home BP Monitor?

Home blood pressure monitors become a very valuable tool for both hypertension patients and non-hypertension patients in recent days. In healthcare providers’ opinion, hypertension patients should regularly assess their blood pressure and keep track of it at home. They also advise elders who are over or about 40 years old, to keep monitoring their heart health more often so they will not delay making any decision and will be prepared for any imminent health issues.  There are also other benefits to monitoring your blood pressure at home. Such as,

Initial Treatment: BP monitoring by oneself can be very beneficial for those who have elevated Blood Pressure problems. It can be an indicator of any upcoming cardiovascular problems. Healthcare providers often analyze the BP report taken by the patients and suggest the diet and lifestyle they need to follow. Doctors also recommend people who are at risk of different cardiovascular diseases follow up on their blood pressure more often so they can analyze the risk factor of the patient health and start the initial diagnosis.

Track your medicines: Patients with hypertension often need to change their medicines & nutrition according to their heart health. In such a situation, Acute hypertension patients monitor their BP regularly, and healthcare providers analyze the result and recommend the next treatment plan accordingly. Regular monitoring helps doctors to take decisions about their treatment method and understand if the medicine is working properly on the patient or if they have to change the dose.

Encouragement for better management: Self-assessment will provide you with a powerful knowledge of your health. It will help you to analyze your diet plan and your lifestyle. In this way, you can gain a strong sense of proper diet & medication and the number of physical activities you will need.

Healthcare cost reduction: Self-awareness is the first and foremost key to preventing any kind of major health problem. In high blood pressure, regular monitoring and early diagnosis can help you to prevent major heart issues and organ failure like stroke, and kidney failure and it will save your health and money in the long run.  

How Inaccurate Are At-home BP Monitors?

Before getting a BPM at home, it is one of the necessary steps to ensure that the monitor is able to provide an accurate result. It has been observed throughout the patients asking about whether BPMs are accurate or not. However, there is still some digital BPM available that can provide accurate results.  But you have to have a prominent knowledge about it. BP monitors show the accurate result of ±3mmHg can be considered as an accurate blood pressure monitor. The best way to ensure that is to take your monitor to your doctor’s office and check how accurate is it with your doctor’s BP monitor. If the variation is about ±3mmHg then there is nothing to worry about it.

Can Blood Pressure Monitors Provide Inaccurate Results?

Automatic BP monitors can also show false readings for many facts. These facts are applicable to every type of blood pressure monitor whether is a traditional mercury sphygmomanometer or a digital BP monitor. The most common phenomenon noticed during the measurement is the patient’s lack of understanding of the device. They often wear the device improperly which causes the error. Another factor can be bad timing of measurement or the white coat and masked hypertension effect. Blood pressure results can be altered so easily with a small change in your body or diet. Usually, new users face these problems more often. Though these errors can be minimized over time and the experience of the patient.

When Should You Not Measure Your BP?

According to the new blood pressure guidelines for seniors, researchers suggest not taking the measurement at some particular times. As per their instruction, patients must not take their blood pressure if they intake any alcohol, tobacco, caffeinated drink, or heavy meal half an hour from the time of measurement. It is also not recommended to take the measurement when your bladder is full or right after any kind of physical activity such as different types of exercises. The perfect time for evaluating your BP is when your body is entirely calm and relaxed. Any type of stress on our body can undoubtedly alter the high or low  BP reading and cause an error.

What are the Appropriate Ways to evaluate BP at Home?

Followed by the guidance of well-known organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA), European Society of Hypertension (ESH), etc. doctors advise their patients to follow several easy tasks to ensure the accuracy of their measurement. The advice includes using an upper arm blood pressure monitor instead of a wrist BP monitor, always taking the measurement on the same hand and at the same time of the day, keeping the body relaxed during the measurement, measuring 2/3 times for more accuracy, and keeping the record of your daily measurement so analyze your previous records.

Though measuring blood pressure and keeping the record regularly seems to be a difficult task but there is no match to staying healthy without it. There are some devices such as HINGMED Q06B that can help you to record and analyze your day-to-day measurement and help you to keep your blood pressure under control. But there is no match to measure your blood pressure if you are a patient with high blood pressure.