When doctors are involved, so many people get nervous. Palms sweat and blood pressure elevates. This anxiety, known as White Coat Syndrome (or White Coat Hypertension), can cause people who need medical attention to neglect going to the doctor. In some cases, the medical professionals might not wear white coats necessarily. You can still suffer from this anxiety, whether they are wearing scrubs or a white coat.

White Coat Syndrome: What is it?

What happens?

If you check your blood pressure at home, you might find it to be much lower than when they check it at the doctor’s office. In the past, it was thought that this was just because being in a doctor’s office made people nervous. Today, doctors are more attuned to high blood pressure readings. If you have White Coat Syndrome, you might be at risk for other health problems.

What are the results?

If you have White Coat Syndrome and your blood pressure returns to normal outside of the doctor’s office, you could still be at risk. Certain cardiovascular problems can be a result of this hypertension. The temporary increases in blood pressure when visiting a doctor can be a sign of a larger problem. These small increases can also result in a long-term problem.

What can I do?

If you notice that your blood pressure elevates as a result of White Coat Syndrome, you can talk to your doctor about monitoring it. Sometimes, they will suggest using a monitory to check your blood pressure throughout the day, even when you sleep. Others will ask you to check it more regularly and document it.

Further, it is important to keep in mind that these spikes might not always occur within an office! Sometimes other activities cause recurring, temporary spikes in blood pressure. Make sure you talk to your doctor about all aspects of your life when discussing blood pressure.

At the end of the day, if you are facing an accident at work, make sure you see a doctor. If you suffer from White Coat Syndrome, visiting the doctor can be a harrowing thought. An early visit can prevent your injury from becoming a long-term problem. On the bright side, a visit to fix the problem early will be better than several visits to correct an existing problem!