High blood pressure (hypertension) is usually asymptomatic, and so screening is vital. The only way to find out for sure if you do have hypertension is to have it measured. If you do have high blood pressure, your doctor will devise an appropriate treatment plan for you.
The treatment of high blood pressure involves both a change in lifestyle and, if necessary, the prescription of drugs, known as anti-hypertensives. In many cases of mild hypertension, a change in eating habits, regular exercise, a low fat diet, no smoking, and if necessary a reduction in salt intake and alcohol, will be sufficient to get the blood pressure down to normal.
You can measure your blood pressure in the privacy of your own home using one of the many reliable and accurate blood pressure monitors available today.
Some people are actually asked by their doctor or nurse to measure their blood pressure at home for a short period of time, to find out what it is like away from the surgery. Sometimes your blood pressure is higher when taken in a clinical or medical environment, such as your doctor’s surgery. This is commonly known as white coat hypertension and can be caused by feeling anxious while waiting to see the doctor, or by being in a clinical environment.
Blood pressure readings taken at home are often lower than those taken at the GP’s surgery, and readings taken at home are now seen to give a more accurate picture of your normal blood pressure.