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Discovering high blood pressure (hypertension)
Q. How does my doctor work out if I have high blood pressure?
A. As explained in the section on The facts about blood pressure just one high reading does not mean that you definitely have high blood pressure.
To work out whether or not your single high blood pressure reading was just a one-off event, you will need to have more readings taken. This may mean:
- visiting your doctor's surgery a number of times over a period of weeks or months for more readings
- being asked to take some readings yourself at home
- being asked to wear a small blood pressure machine that takes blood presure readings over a 24-hour period (known as ambulatory or 24-hour blood pressure monitoring)
If, after this your blood pressure level is still found to be high, then it is very likely that you have high blood pressure. If this is true for you, then your doctor will probably ask you to:
- have some more investigations (please see My GP has given me a number of other tests, why?)
- make some lifestyle changes (please see Making lifestyle changes)
- and, depending on the reading, you may be asked to take high blood pressure medicines (please see Treatments for high blood pressure)