“ Brand: Omron / Type: Blood pressure monitor „
I am hypertensive. That means a category of blood pressure that is dangerous if untreated. Suprisingly, only a small percentage of people with hypertension have a cause that can be identified and resolved. A good example of this would be obesity. The majority like myself have high blood pressure for a reason doctors cannot identify but it is believed to be genetic.
I bought an Omrom blood pressure monitor to be able to take my own readings at home, and so keep tabs on myself. Medication is one thing, but lowering alcohol, fat and salt intakes are all positive steps that can be done to lower your blood pressure. I've managed, using this device as a gauge, to lower mine.
Using this device could not be easier. There are two buttons on the front. A dark blue on/off button and a light blue activation button. The pressure cuff must be worn in a particular way. There is a picture on the sleeve itself that removes any ambiguity. Having fairly muscular arms, I often have to make small adjustments in order to get valid readings. If they were much larger, I would have to have bought a specialised cuff instead.
Once activated, the cuff inflates. It reaches a set pressure, then stops. If it cannot detect a regular pulse, it will either deflate automatically or inflate further. If a reading is not valid, you will get an EE reading. If it is, you will get a standard blood pressure monitor reading. Systolic and diastolic readings are the standard this over that.
The mythical perfect reading is 120 over 80, though the normal range allows some leeway either side. Systolic is your blood pressure when your heart is beating. Diastolic is your blood pressure inbetween beats. Both readings are taken as an average over a number of seconds and heart beats. The device also alternates to your pulse, or beats per minute. Nice to know, but my pulse has almost always been well within safe ranges.
My medicated blood pressure is typically 150 over 90. That's a vast improvement on 195 over 120 - what it was at its worst. If you are hypertensive, invest in one of these devices. I've not just lowered my blood pressure by using it as a gauge of how I am doing, I've also managed to lower my medication dosage.
My device is still on the original batteries a year later. At around £35, it won't raise your blood pressure shelling out for one ;)
5 years ago, at a routine GP's appointment, I was told my blood pressure was high. As a slim, half-marathon-running 20-something year old I was surprised and not entirely convinced the result was 'real' - I'd always found visiting the doctor intimidating and having a tight thing around your arm buzzing away as it inflates while the doctor stares at you is not something I find relaxing. After several high results I decided I'd invest in a BP machine for home to see if I really did have hypertension (high blood pressure) away from the doctor's office. I purchased the omron MX2 from an online shop essentially because it was reasonably priced (under £25 including delivery) - but did it do the job?
Made of white and grey plastic, with two fairly large blue buttons and a large display screen, the omron MX2 looks sturdy and clinical. The main unit measures 11cm by 9cm by 12cm. Attached to this by a length of grey rubber tubing is the grey blood pressure cuff, made of quite a stiff material. The standard cuff which comes with the machine works for arms of circumference 22 to 32cm; a larger cuff for arms of up to 42cm can be purchased separately. It weighs 400g, which is a nice balance between not being too heavy yet not feeling flimsy.
Overall, the look and build inspires confidence - it appears of a good quality, and made to last.
The Omron MX2 is blissfully simple to use. You wrap the cuff around your upper arm, fastening easily with Velcro, then you press the first big button to turn the machine on and then the second big button to inflate the cuff. Et voila, the cuff inflates and in under a minute you are presented with a large-digit readout on the screen of your blood pressure and pulse.
The range of blood pressures measured is up to 299mmHg (more than high enough for the vast majority of people) and the pulse records between 40 and 180 beats per minute. The quoted accuracy is plus or minus 5% of reading for pulse and a more accurate plus or minus 3mmHg for blood pressure.
It is powered by 4 AA batteries which are easy to change.
Apart from recording the pulse and blood pressure it stores the last 14 readings which you can then scroll back through.
Well built, simple to use and 5 years on still on the same set of batteries -definitely a good investment, especially as it also proved my high blood pressure was just doctor-induced rather than real.
The only real limitation is the fact that as a basic model it cannot cope with variable pulses, and it does occasionally fail to get a reading on even a 'normal' person on the first attempt.
However, overall I have found it reliable and good value for money.
I know it sounds bizarre, but this really is a great little gadget.
To call it a great little gadget probably understates the importance it plays in many people's lives. My father had a mini-stroke and bought one of these to monitor his blood pressure (which is rather high). Clearly from his perspective, the monitor is crucial, but for me it has also been of use.
The thing is, as with my father, many people don't realise when their blood pressure is high (me included). But this little machine can put you in the know - for as little as £15.
Omron is a great company - they've made medical machines for a great number of years and it shows.
It's automatic, so no hand pumping etc. You simply slip the arm band over the top of your arm, relax and press the button. It expands gently and beeps as it takes a reading. It takes all but 20 seconds and all the information is displayed very clearly on the screen.
The leaflet that comes with it is really helpful, giving you lots of extra useful information, as well as clear instructions on how best to take readings and how to keep track of your blood pressure.
It's so easy to use, comfortable and quick. It's extremely simple - no gimmicks or extra features that you'll never use.
The packaging it comes in is sturdy and simple, so no fear of ordering it online and having it posted. The machine itself is also sturdy and sits well on the table. It's also very easy to pop away (I keep it in the bathroom cabinet).
I've found it to be invaluable. I use some everyday medication which can affect your blood pressure (as many medications do), and what with my father suffering from high blood pressure, I do find this to be very useful and reassuring. Just a great thing, at a low price, to have in any bathroom.
My husband purchased the Omron MX2 Digital Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor from Lloyds pharmacy for £20 - you have to buy the cuff seperately, as there are two different sizes, but if you buy the cuff at the same time as the unit you get it for half price.
It's a great little unit which is compact and ideal for home use. It takes 2 AA batteries, and doesn't need special high capacity ones, ones from the pound shop work fine! It has a large screen ideal for those with poor eyesight and is a doddle to use. All you need to do is slip the cuff over a bare arm with the air pipe down the front. Hold your arm naturally, ideally rested on a table or chair arm. Relax your hand and press the large 'start' button. The unit isn't silent but isn't too noisy as it pumps air into the cuff. After about two minutes the unit will do a double beep, deflate, and two different screens will alternate - one with your systolic and diastolic blood pressure and one with your heart rate.
It's been a great unit for both my husband and I - he can monitor his high blood pressure and maintain it's reduction through good diet, and I can monitor my low blood pressure through pregnancy. It's very accurate and easy to use and we use it probably once a week and record the results.
I will give this 5/5 - you don't need a fancy £50+ unit, this does the job and does it well.
Late last year, my husband almost died. After being dragged back from the brink of death, he has some residual health problems, his blood pressure being the one most likely to be dangerous. So we settled down and did a ton of research into what the best blood pressure monitor on the market was.
The Omron MX2 was the one that was consistently the highest-reviewed, and when we checked with the doctor she also suggested that one - so we bought it.
The RRP was £44, but we found it for £20 and were pleased enough (I've since seen it on Amazon for £12.95, which I'm a bit annoyed about). It arrived in a very sturdy box and very well packaged, and the machine itself is very sturdy. It has the hospital-style Velcro cuff that you wrap around your bicep (take your sleeve out of the way) and pull tight. Push the On button, then the other button (there are only two, very sensible) and watch it take your blood pressure. It shows an alternating display of blood pressure and pulse for about 15 seconds before settling to show your blood pressure in the standard xx/xx format. It then turns itself off after a few minutes. It also seems to monitor very accurately, but I'm not a doctor so I can't be certain :)
This is a brilliant machine for the price - but it would also be a brilliant machine for the RRP. Highly recommended for anyone who needs to monitor their blood pressure at home.
This is an at home automatic blood pressure reader. Completely different from the old school type that your GP might use with the hand pump and the little dial and stethoscope. This is a cuff just like you'd get at the doctors, with a tube that runs into a box with a simple display.
There are only two buttons on the machine, on/off and go (the button that pumps the cuff up). So, slip the cuff on, tighten it up relax, and press the button. It makes a bit of a strange noise but nothing too loud/scary, and the cough gently inflates (nothing like the tightness a GP can use when they just seem to pump til your arm pops off!). Then it will gradually deflate and the numbers on the display drop down, a few seconds later you'll have your reading. Also it will show your heart rate.
I got bought this as a gift (strange gift idea I know but I really loved it, testing it out on all my friends, playing doctor). I have a definite case of white coat syndrome, and this is somewhat reassuring to see yes, I don't have some freakish disorder sending my BP soaring, I just get nervous. Though I think this is designed maybe for those who are already diagnosed with hypertension and need to monitor their medication perhaps.
According to amazon they're now available for about £12.something, which is an incredibly reasonable price, you'd easily spend that on a small first aid kit!
I'd reccommend this to those with pre-existing conditions involoving changes in blood pressure, and for those who are just curious about there BP but don't want to meither the doctor.
One thing to be noted, these electronic devices (both at home and in a medical setting) are not as accurate as an old fashioned cuff and stethoscope (or so I've been told by doctors). Hence it is not a replacement for medical care, more a supplement to your healthcare to run alongside the advice of a real doctor
I got the Omron Blood Pressure Monitor back in 2005. A severe case of 'white coat syndrome' meant that the health professionals who were monitoring my first pregnancy became convinced I was a shoo-in for the potentially very serious malady of pre-eclampsia. It's a symptomless disorder - one of the first warning signs of the problem being raised blood pressure during pregnancy - and as pre-eclampsias can be fatal for both mothers and the gestating foetus, it's something that is routinely checked for during pre-natal visits.
Unfortunately, such an unholy fuss was made about my - initially only slightly raised - blood pressure - by the team of eejits I was dealing with at the time -
"I can't let you drive home from this clinic!" as one of the midwives shrieked at me on the first day my slightly raised blood pressure was recorded - "what if you have a stroke at the wheel, crash and DIE DIE DIE?"
- that the panic and stress fed back directly into the loop, meaning that whenever anyone tried to measure my blood pressure after that, I went into hysterics (I could literally feel my blood fizzing in my veins at these times - like I was a kettle on the boil) and of course the BP reading shot up and up.
I bought the Omron gadget to use at home so I could monitor my BP under stress-free situations and found it immensely reassuring. At home, my BP - though admittedly on the high side - was practically always within normal limits (or at least somewhat below the level that my doctor told me was 'dangerous'), and it was like a voice of calm sanity amongst all the screeching, insuffrable, to be quite frank, ignorant midwives who kept assuring me that if I didn't take my blood pressure medication like a good girl, I was going to pop my clogs and / or kill the baby at any moment. Not that I don't take the problem of pre-eclampsia seriously; I certainly do, and it is a frightening and dangerous disorder, but there ARE other reasons why blood pressure might become increased during pregnancy, and without other symptoms specific to pre-eclampsia - such as protein appearing in the urine - high blood pressure alone can't be taken as a sole indicator for the disorder. My personal experience - borne out by my second pregnancy where my blood pressure once again was raised in the third trimester - was certainly that midwives are in general are too quick to diagnose pre-eclampsia, often without sufficient reason.
So, I got my Omron new on Ebay for about £30-40 back in 2005 - the price has come down quite a bit since then (I see you can currently buy it for a shade under £13 on Amazon.co.uk) but it's essentially the same model. It runs of AA batteries and is simplicity itself to use. There is a detachable nozzle which attaches at one end to the digital monitor itself, and at the other end is permanently fixed to the velcro-covered, part-inflatable cloth cuff that goes around your upper arm. You simply push the darker blue 'on' button on the box part, wait a few seconds for the monitor to calibrate, then fit the grey cloth cuff part round your bicep, securing it firmly in place with the velcro. Then you press the other button, the machine starts whirring as the cuff inflates, and then digital BP readings appear on the screen - always worringly high figures at first, then with the numbers descending as your systole / diastole figures are read. It also flashes to another digital screen that tells you your pulse rate.
I don't think you're supposed to do repeat readings of BP one after the other in sequence - although it is tempting to do so to get a reading you 'want'. Repeat monitoring might be unwise, for I noticed that after the first reading, the BP readings I'd get from my Omron would always tend to be lower and lower for subsequent blood pressure monitorings. Sometimes the machine for some reason gives you an error message - it works OK if you try again straight afterwards, and an occasional failure to read like this doesn't seem to be anything much to worry about.
I understand that if you use home BP monitors like this you're advised to regularly (six monthly or yearly or something like that) take them into a pharmacy / your doctors to get them calibrated; ie to get an idea of whether the readings they're giving out are the same as what a professional would register. I took mine into the clinic during my second pregnancy last year (it was still using the 2005 batteries, incidentally) and it appeared - if anything - to read on the slightly high side compared with what the midwives were recording.
While I wouldn't 100% trust my Omron monitor with my life, used in conjunction with visits to your doctor / midwife / whoever it can afford a great deal of peace of mind for people who are worrying about their blood pressure.
As some of you may have already read about in my recent profile updates and reviews, towards the end of last year during a particularly stressful period of work commitments I discovered that to my complete surprise and shock, my blood pressure readings were extremely high.
Blood pressure is at its highest when the heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.
Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures.
Three separate readings taken at my local surgery within the space of a month read 196/100, 188/100 and 180/100.
The acceptable / normal range in contrast is 120-140/80, so the potential implications in terms of risk factor for coronary, stroke or other life-threatening occurences were very scary.
If such severe hypertension was to continue, I would most likely have to be put on drugs for the rest of my life in order to be able to get the pressure within acceptable levels. I knew this was crunch time.
Fortunately because of my age, and with no previous record of high blood pressure, my GP was prepared to give me the opportunity to measure and monitor my blood pressure at home for a period of weeks. The stress of having the reading taken by the doctor can itself can also be a factor, commonly known as "white coat" syndrome. Also blood pressure does go up and down during the day, being at it's lowest while you are sleeping and can go up shortly after exercise or periods of excitement or stress.
Rather than recommend any particularly elaborate models, he suggested I look for something around the £20-50 mark for a home testing device.
After a bit of online research, the name Omron kept coming up over and over again, and I read some positive reviews over at Amazon.co.uk on the MX2 Digital Upper arm model. I think mine cost around £29.99.
~~~~Cuff size matters~~~~
The first thing to note, is that the standard model comes with a cuff size of between 22 and 32cm circumference. Not that I'm claiming to be Popeye you understand, but as a larger build sort of a chap, I got my good lady to measure my bicep and it actually came in at 37cm.
A bit of reading into the subject showed that in some instances, using a cuff size that was too small could artificially inflate the readings by as much as 10%. Fortunately Omcron do supply a compatible larger cuff size so I ordered the large 32-42cm range version at the same time.
~~~~Getting to grips with it~~~~
Now I'm going to come straight out and say that when it comes to pretty much all things medical , frankly I'm about as squeamish as it gets. The idea of me, taking my own readings 2-3 times a day, wasn't exactly filling me with a great feeling of comfort.
Fortunately my wife is a much sturdier soul on these matters, so she agreed to help me get things set up and take the initial readings.
It's actually very straight forward to use. Basically insert the battery, attach the grey piping cable to the unit, put hand through the cuff, and slide it up to just above the elbow. Adjust the strap, feeding through the metal clip, and attach the velcro to seal it. The important thing is that it's nice and loose, without sliding right off, and to keep the forearm flat on the table, palm facing upwards so that the centre of the pipe is aligned with the centre of your palm.
Once you are ready to go, simply press the dark blue button, to reset the dial and then the light blue button to automatically start the process.
All that sounds straight forward, but see from the point of view of a first time user of a nervous disposition it's slightly different.
Basically, the noise of the pump fires up, the dial starts to gradually clock upwards from 10 to 20 etc as the pressure starts to build around your arm. The default target is 170, which is generally the point at which a reading can be taken.
What happens is at 170, it drops down, and you get a strong pulsing sensation as it tries to collect the reading. If you are fidgeting around all over the place like I was, it's only made worse by the fact that the figures drop to around 135, and if nothing is picked up , the cuff tightens further up to around 210 of pressure. By this point you feel a pins and needles sensation in the arm - again , not the best for settling the nerves.
It didn't help that after all that, the reading errored completely first time out - something had gone wrong with the set up. You have to wait a few minutes to let everything reset, during which time my wife suggested in the nicest possible way that wriggling about like a flailing salmon as the reading was being taken might not be the best way to guarantee a positive result.
Her advice duly noted, I settled down for take two. The relief of it being over was greatly enhanced when I managed to open my eyes again to take in the results. 150/85 - a hugely significant drop from the surgery readings.
~~~~Getting the routine~~~~
That 150/85 was an early morning reading, so naturally the evening numbers tended to be higher, but still nothing was coming up above 160 and 90.
Buoyed on by that major breakthrough, and continuing diet and health improvements that could only help send the numbers lower, after the next couple of readings were extracted (one mistake we made early on was tightening a little too much , I actually ended up with a bruise and a slight cut on one arm), I came to the conclusion that the only way to get over my issues was to face them head on and do the tests myself.
Naturally adjusting the cuff yourself is much easier to judge, and also sitting there alone in the room with no other distractions made it easier to focus on what needed to be done. I found some deep breathing just beforehand really helped keep the numbers down, and before long , the second retightening thing wasn't required any more. I was relaxed enough to get the readings right first time.
The kit comes with a handy chart you can easily fill out to chart daily progress, and I just took the output and stuck it into excel and produced graphs and averages to show to my doctor after the 3 weeks was up. The averages were around 145/85, and he was naturally delighted with the results. When he remeasured my BP , this time using a larger cuff size himself, it came in at 164/92 which given the clear evidence of my fear of the white coat situation was perfectly acceptable to him.
I still use the Omron to keep an eye on things maybe a couple of times a week. One other bonus is that it also measures your resting heart beat, which can in itself be a good indicator of fitness levels - mine's got below 50 now which apparently makes me an athlete -I can dream I guess!
~~~~Get it checked!~~~~
The one thing the experience has taught me is to never take basic health for granted. I really had no idea that my BP was running so high (artifically inflated or not , figures were still definitely high normal until I started losing the weight / exercising) and I wish I'd got things checked out much sooner.
Especially if you are working in a stressful job, carrying extra weight, heading towards your 40s or have any history in your family of cardio related conditions I would urge you to get your BP checked at least once a year.
Who knows, it just might save your life.
All proceeds received from ratings of this and my other reviews will go directly to charity. Thank you for reading.
My father was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, very high blood pressure. As per his doctor, a home blood monitor would be a good idea to keep track of it, so I set about finding a reliable and accurate one that wouldn't cost a fortune. I hadn't looked at monitors before, and as I couldn't get to the shops because of the snow, I resigned myself to the internet. After realising most digital monitors are very similar, but vary quite a lot in price and reviews, I opted for this one and I'm glad I did.
Omron, a company I don't think I'd heard of before buying this, have years of experience in the health industry, specifically blood pressure monitors, so I trusted it to be a knowledgeable and reliable brand.
The MX2 is a fully automatic blood pressure monitor so there's no need to faff around with pumping like you would a traditional one. The display shows alternating blood pressure and pulse readings, has an error message function and also automatically shuts down after 5 minutes. All in all, it seems to do exactly what you need from a blood pressure monitor.
This is 'clinically validated' according to the Amazon website, and after having read the reviews, I was confident I was buying a good little machine. I think that's what swayed me to buy this rather than a slightly cheaper own-brand version from somewhere else (a chemist, but I wont name names). There's a lot of machines out there all claiming to do the same thing, but I wanted one that was easy to use, quick, comfortable and accurate - all which are successfully ticked off with this monitor I'm glad to say.
The product is well-packaged and from first first looks, it appeared simple enough to use and yet of good quality. This comes with a standard size cuff (22-32cm circumference of the arm), the monitor base itself and some instructions.
To use, simply place the arm band around the top of your arm (bicep, make sure to remove any sleeves that may get in the way). Then select the on button on the monitor, and press the button just below it (there's only two so it's nice and easy), which will then inflate the arm band. For a while you see the alternating blood pressure and pulse readings, and afterwards the blood pressure reading is shown. I've tried this for myself and it took about 15 seconds to settle on my pressure reading, which came up digitally in the xx/xx form.
The monitor base is neat but sturdy, a magical digital box that clearly shows the numbers boldly in black. It's big enough to be easy to use rather than being fiddly, but just the right size so you can sit comfortably at your kitchen table, for example, to take a reading.
The cuff is comfortable and the Velcro is strong enough to keep it in place for the desired time to get your reading. It inflated quickly and very strongly; I think that the problem with some BP monitors may be the inflation and cuff itself, but this worked excellently.
Overall I'm very impressed with this. Even my father, who's not the most technically advanced, managed to set this up and take his blood pressure within 2 minutes of taking it out of the box. The standard batteries are included so you're ready to go, and it will automatically turn off after a short while incase you forget to do do, which saves the power.
A fantastic machine that's accurate (his reading was as predicted by his doctor), easy to use, comfortable and efficient. Definitely recommended for keeping track of your BP levels if you can get it at £12, as I did, as you can't go wrong with it.
RRP £44, but selling on amazing for only £12.95, which is a bargain as it's good quality & does what it should.