29 June, 2020
When the countrywide lockdown was implemented in India in March, it was assumed that things would limp back to normal in a month. Hence, most people crucial to stay at home and step out only for essentials. It was said that people should postpone their regular checkups as well to later dates. However, today in June, the situation doesn’t seem to be easing up. Senior citizens are in a quandary as they are not expected to step out other than for emergencies. Quite a few among the senior population have been postponing their diabetes, blood pressure, heart, and eye checkups.
While it is good to visit the doctor once and get some advice on the way forward, it is also a good idea to monitor certain parameters at home. It is to be noted that stress is an important lockdown effect leading to issues in the young and the old alike. Stress can, in turn, lead to fluctuations in blood pressure, diabetes, and may also have some effect on heart health. Hence, there is a need to monitor these parameters at home. Diligent daily monitoring with an accompanying diary of the reading is a good practice. This can help in seeking medical intervention if you see some patterns in the readings noted. Or if you feel that some parameters are not the way it is supposed to be.
Blood Glucose Monitors
Currently, there are many blood glucose monitors available in the market, using which you can easily monitor blood sugar at home. Kindly check with your doctor for any specific preference or way of monitoring. Otherwise, all these blood glucose monitors come with instruction manuals that depict the usage. They come with strips that can be fixed and used per prick for checking the reading.
The strips can be bought separately, once the first batch is over. Usually, the kit also comes with a diary with dates to note the readings as and when they are taken. Unless you see some extreme variations or other issues, you could easily do a teleconsultation with your doctor by sharing the readings. This way, you can avoid stepping out for a consultation, unless it is required.
Blood Pressure Monitors
Hypertension is a serious health issue as it has implications leading to many other health issues. Most cardiac issues are linked to hypertension, and hence it is important to monitor this in susceptible patients. There are a variety of blood pressure monitors available that helps people to easily monitor their blood pressure. Many of these also record irregular heartbeats; this helps understand if there are any issues with the heart and blood pressure fluctuations, if any.
Most of these monitors can be easily used and are digital so that people can understand the readings easily. It is important to note down the readings with the date and time so that it can be presented to your doctor during a teleconsultation or even otherwise.
Getting obese or losing weight are indicators of some serious health conditions. It is, therefore, vital to monitor the body weight as well; more so, as there is a chance that we may adopt a sedentary lifestyle during the pandemic times. Usually, the weight is at the clinic/hospital during the periodic checkup visits. Nowadays, since we may not be stepping out for the same, it may be a good idea to get a weighing scale home. Most weighing scales are battery-operated with digital display and easy to use with simple instructions. The reading could be jotted down along with the other parameters, even though weight need not be checked as periodically as the blood glucose or the blood pressure.
Running a fever during the onset of Monsoon could have been passed off as the seasonal flu or viral fever earlier. However, in the present times, we cannot afford to be that negligent. Fever is one of the foremost symptoms of COVID-19, and hence it is essential to have a thermometer at home. If you feel that the body temperature is more than what it should be, it may be a good idea to monitor it for a day or so and consult the doctor for further advice. The ones in the market come with a digital display and simple instructions that anyone can use.
For those who are highly health-conscious, there are wearable health devices like Fitbits, smartwatches, fitness trackers, etc. These help a person to monitor various health parameters like steps walked in a day, sleep, calories burnt, and so on. Some of them easily allow you to sync the device with your smartphone or computer to that you could store the logs and access it any time. Some provide you analytics of the various parameters, so you get an idea about the patterns in the readings.
These are just a few of the health monitoring devices that you could choose to buy and keep at home to help you monitor the vital parameters. Make the best use of what is available and stay safe and healthy till such time that the pandemic blows over.
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