Did you know that as much as 10% of the population may have high blood pressure and not even know about it?
This isn’t from a lack of testing, either. A condition doctors’ refer to as masked hypertension occurs when a patient has a normal blood pressure reading during an office visit, but exhibits high blood pressure outside of the clinic.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition which puts strain on your cardiovascular system and internal organs. Left untreated, it can result in serious complications.
While blood pressure tests are easy enough to administer and a routine part of any visit to the doctor’s office, blood pressure testing techniques aren’t perfect.
The main failure point of blood pressure tests is how infrequently they are administered. Getting your blood pressure read only gives you a brief snapshot of your blood pressure at the exact moment it is being read.
Blood pressure is not static. It can be highly variable and depend on all sorts of internal and environmental factors, varying throughout the day.
As a result, some individuals never get their hypertension properly diagnosed. If your blood pressure — for whatever reason — isn’t at abnormal levels when you get a blood pressure reading, you could go for extended periods with no idea that you have hypertension.
Who Should Be Concerned With Masked Hypertension?
If you have any of the high risk factors for hypertension, such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, obesity, or any other contributor to high blood pressure, it is worth keeping a closer eye on your blood pressure.
One warning sign can be occasional high blood pressure readings. If you find that your blood pressure is not consistently high when measured but some measurements are out of normal levels, this could be a warning sign that you have masked hypertension.
Similarly, individuals who have been diagnosed with hypertension could actually have a more severe level of hypertension than infrequent testing can reveal.
How To Determine If You Have Masked Hypertension
While you should never attempt to diagnose yourself with any medical condition, one thing that you can begin doing is monitoring your blood pressure at home.
A portable EKG monitor is a simple way to get a blood pressure reading without taking a trip to the doctor’s office. You can quickly and painlessly test your blood pressure from home with an EKG machine, letting you get multiple readings throughout the day and compiling data over the course of weeks or months.
You can compile this information into a logbook to keep an accurate record of your blood pressure over time.
If you find yourself having consistently high blood pressure levels, consult your physician. Show them your log book and your portable EKG machine. They can use this information to help diagnose you or determine a better course of treatment.
Should you be diagnosed with hypertension, you can continue using your heart monitor machine to keep close tabs on your blood pressure as you begin treatment.
Having a home EKG monitor at your disposal allows you to watch how your lifestyle affects your blood pressure. Changes to contributing factors such as diet and exercise, or cessation of smoking cannabis or drinking, can have real and noticeable effects which you can record at home using an EKG machine.