As a biometric, your blood pressure is one of the most essential indicators of your health. No matter how old you are or whether or not you plan to become pregnant, you should always monitor your blood pressure levels, even if you don’t have hypertension or a family history of it.
Optic nerve damage and heart disease can be caused by untreated high blood pressure. It is important to know your blood pressure before changing your medication, diet, exercise, or any other activity.
Measurements of blood pressure must be taken regularly because it will change throughout the day. In contrast, most people had to visit a doctor’s office to get an appropriate reading of their blood pressure. There are certain drawbacks to using a consumer-friendly blood pressure cuff at home, such as the fact that they are cumbersome and uncomfortable.
What is a blood pressure watch?
It’s official: the era of the wearable electronic device has here. Watches and fitness trackers allow you to monitor your blood pressure at any time, even while driving. Some of these gadgets could potentially keep tabs on your sleep and activity patterns, depending on the model. Another option is a non-watch-style wrist-based blood pressure monitor. Devices of this size and scope are primarily intended for usage in the house.
Is a blood pressure watch accurate?
Cuff-style blood pressure monitors are more accurate than wrist or finger devices, according to the American Heart Association Trusted Source. In order to take a blood pressure reading, a monitor must be placed at or close to the heart’s level.
In order to simulate results from an upper arm blood pressure monitor, some watches recommend that you maintain your wrist on your heart throughout readings. If you follow our suggestions, you’ll get the most accurate results.
An excellent way to check the accuracy of your watch is to compare the readings to those obtained in a medical setting. This can be accomplished by bringing your watch to a doctor’s appointment and quickly testing yourself after receiving an upper arm cuff reading.
What can affect blood pressure?
What if I told you various things might cause your blood pressure to jump or decrease temporarily, giving you an incorrect reading? If you want to get an accurate readout from your exam, there are a number of strategies to prepare. Prepare for your next blood pressure check by learning about these risk factors.
Anxiety and stress
Cortisol levels will rise if you are under stress before or during a blood pressure test, which will raise your heart rate and hence your blood pressure. Whitecoat hypertension, or the fear of being at the doctor’s office, can also cause your blood pressure to increase.
Chronic hypertension is not influenced by worry or stress; however, it might affect your blood pressure at the time of the measurement. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that can elevate your blood pressure for a short period of time, but only briefly. Take a few deep breaths both before and during the exam to help reduce your anxiety.
Needing to pee
When you have a full bladder, and your kidneys are under stress, your blood vessels are put under additional strain. As much as 15 points might be added to your reading if you have a full bladder. To guarantee that your blood pressure measurement is correct, you should go to the bathroom before having it taken.
If you cross your legs during a blood pressure reading, your readings might increase by 2 to 5 points. During a blood pressure test, the nurse would normally tell the patient to sit with their legs uncrossed and their feet on the ground. To prevent getting a misleading reading of hypertension, avoid having your legs crossed when taking your blood pressure.
Placement of the blood pressure watch
Incorrect watch strap size or situating the watch over clothing are the most common causes of inaccurate blood pressure readings. Your blood pressure might rise by 10 to 50 points if the cuff is worn incorrectly over your clothes. Watches that are too small might increase your blood pressure reading by 2 to 10 points.
Being hungry (or full)
Because food digestion decreases blood pressure, it is common to have lower-than-normal blood pressure readings immediately following a meal. To get the most accurate results, your doctor may advise you to measure your blood pressure before or thirty minutes after a meal if you’re doing it yourself at home.
Fasting or not eating enough might also lead to an erroneous blood sugar assessment. High blood pressure can be effectively controlled by altering your eating habits. For long-term hypertension therapy, consume whole foods that have been shown to decrease blood pressure.
Caffeine, booze, and cigarettes
Blood pressure rises soon after drinking, smoking, or taking in coffee or other stimulants. Be careful to refrain from drinking or smoking for at least 30 minutes before your blood pressure test.
Too much small talk
Even conversing during a blood pressure test has been proven to boost your results in study after study, according to the findings. Speak out during the exam, and you may see an improvement of 10 to 15 points. Quietness is key to getting an accurate reading of your blood pressure.
Being too cold
It’s possible to raise your blood pressure while it’s chilly outside. Blood arteries narrow as a result of the lower temperatures, which causes them to constrict. In turn, this causes the blood pressure to rise. It’s possible your blood pressure reading will be higher than usual if you’re cold in the doctor’s office when getting your blood pressure taken.
Even if your blood pressure is within the usual range, you should be aware of any factors that might cause it to spike. It is critical that you and your doctor are aware of the circumstances that might lead to an overestimation of your blood pressure readings. Your blood pressure will be accurately measured if you consider all of these elements.
How a blood pressure watch works
Watch-based BP monitoring devices may be reliable if properly utilized. However, the American Heart Association warns against wrist or finger blood pressure monitors. Instead, it recommends using a home blood pressure monitor that measures the blood pressure in your upper arm.
Wrist blood pressure monitors are highly sensitive to changes in body posture. Make sure your arm and wrist are at heart level when using a wrist monitor to check your blood pressure. It’s still possible to get inaccurate blood pressure readings conducted at the wrist.
To put it another way, this is because the wrist arteries are smaller and less deep beneath the skin than those in the upper arm.
Some people can’t get their blood pressure measured in the upper arm because they have a large arm or find blood pressure readings uncomfortable. Simply gauging your blood pressure at the wrist is sufficient in these situations.
A doctor’s blood pressure reading is likely to be different from one acquired at home using any type of monitor. If you have a wrist blood pressure monitor, bring it to your doctor’s appointment.
To guarantee the accuracy of your wrist blood pressure monitor, your doctor can check your blood pressure using a standard upper arm monitor and a blood pressure watch in the same arm. Check to see if your device is authorized.
Why use a blood pressure watch?
Being able to measure your blood pressure via a watch can have a lot of benefits.
To assist with a timely diagnosis, a doctor may detect high blood pressure early if you self-monitor rather than rely on sporadic readings from a medical professional. Home monitoring with a watch is crucial because of higher blood pressure or other conditions that might lead to high blood pressure, such as diabetes or renal difficulties.
Help keep track of your care. Regular blood pressure monitoring is the only method to determine whether or not lifestyle modifications or drugs are having the desired effect. You and your doctor will be able to make better treatment choices if you monitor your blood pressure at home.
Increase the amount of control you have. Self-monitoring might help you feel more in control of your health. If your blood pressure is under control, you’ll be even more driven to improve your diet, exercise, and medication usage.
Reduce the expense of your medical treatment. Self-monitoring may help you make fewer trips to the doctor’s office or another medical facility.
Take your blood pressure outside of the doctor’s office to see if it varies. Anxiety over visiting a doctor might cause blood pressure to rise in some individuals (white coat hypertension). Some people have normal blood pressure at a clinic, yet elsewhere, they have high blood pressure (masked hypertension). It is possible to identify whether you have high blood pressure at home by monitoring your own blood pressure.
Blood pressure watch or ECG sensor?
An ECG measures your heart’s electrical activity at rest (electrocardiogram). It tells you if your heart is enlarged due to high blood pressure (hypertension) or if you’ve had a heart attack in the past (myocardial infarction).
However, it does not disclose whether or not you have asymptomatic blockages in your heart arteries or predict your future risk of suffering a heart attack.
A resting electrocardiogram differs from a stress or activity ECG or a cardiac MRI. Having an ECG test may be necessary if you have symptoms like palpitations or soreness in your chest and risk factors like high blood pressure. It may be necessary if you already have heart disease.
Digital blood pressure watch versus manual
When done correctly by a qualified individual, manual blood pressure provides accurate results. Although manual blood pressure measurement is possible, it is not advised for home usage due to the time and effort required for proficiency. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- The cuffs are too small (too small or too large)
- Inability to calm patients’ fears
- Instruments that have not been calibrated
- Patient-physician communication
Digital blood pressure watches appear to be erroneous in 5% to 15% of persons, according to a study. According to the research findings, a person’s blood pressure can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. However, many individuals prefer a watch because of its obvious and convenient advantages.
Blood pressure watch buying guide
Before purchasing a blood pressure watch, what should you keep in mind?
The first thing to do is figure out which devices your watch can be used with. Almost all of them can be used with a laptop or a tablet, but a few will only work with a smartphone. You’ll be able to view text messages and take phone calls right from your wrist. An app on your linked device lets you see the health data generated by your smartwatch.
For the most part, these high-tech devices are compatible with both Android and Apple iOS operating systems. Wirelessly link through Bluetooth with your mobile device to automatically receive health-related data from the specialized Android/iOS app of the finest blood pressure monitors.
Though, watch out for new releases from the brands themselves. For example, Apple is working on adding blood pressure monitoring as a feature to the Apple Watch. Also, Fitbit is not far behind.
If you opt for a Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 or 4, you can already benefit from this feature.
There are various styles and colors available for blood pressure monitors. Since the device’s primary function is to track your blood pressure throughout the day, choosing a style that goes well with your regular work wardrobe is essential. Even if you don’t care whether it looks well with your outfit, you should still pay attention to the display size. Make sure that the metrics are not too tiny to be read. Even if you don’t want to purchase anything heavy, you should choose a watch with an appealing design and a screen large enough to see the text easily.
Make sure your watch has extra features in addition to measuring blood pressure. A pedometer, calorie counter, sleep monitor, reminder, and heart rate monitor are all standard features on most devices, in addition to a blood pressure monitor.
On a wet day, you may jog or swim with your blood pressure monitor thanks to its water resistance. You don’t even have to take it off while doing the dishes. This feature should be on your list of considerations if you are worried about the watch being harmed by water and want to ensure that your new item is protected to the fullest extent possible.
You can use a blood pressure monitor while swimming or running even if it’s raining since most of them are water-resistant. Although some timepieces have a depth restriction, it’s important to keep this in mind.
When choosing a blood pressure monitor, battery life is critical. At the very least, most individuals don’t like constantly recharging their smartphones. Get a watch with a long-lasting battery if you’re one of them. The batteries in most of the devices on this list last for at least a week.
There is no denying the price of high-tech blood pressure monitors. It’s important to monitor your blood pressure during the day, but don’t spend a fortune on a watch or settle for a cheap device. In its place, you should look for a watch that is accurate, dependable, and long-lasting, all of which are within your means.
A decent blood pressure monitor will cost you between $20 and $50 on a typical basis.
Watches that monitor blood pressure are becoming more popular across the world. Buy one, and you’ll not only be able to take care of your health, but it will motivate you to do so, too. You’ll be able to keep an eye on your vital signs at all times, thanks to a smartwatch that measures your blood pressure.
When deciding which blood pressure monitor is ideal for you, there are several aspects to consider. So be sure to go and read our recommendations of the 22 Best Blood Pressure Watches: New for 2022.
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Last Updated on May 3, 2022
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