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Preventing White Coat Syndrome

Worrying over whether or not the blood pressure will spike may be enough to cause the blood pressure to spike during the reading.

Trying some of the following may help prevent white coat syndrome:

Relaxation techniques

Some relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises or meditation may help people who are worried about their blood pressure to calm down before going into the doctor's office.

One exercise involves counting things using the senses. For instance, a person could count three things they can see in the room, two things they can hear, and one thing they can touch. This exercise may help the person focus less on what is worrying them and more on what is around them.

Move if necessary

A doctor's office can be an intimidating place filled with nurses, receptionists, and doctors all busy going about their routine. Anyone affected by this activity could ask to move to a quiet room.

Take a moment

If still feeling nervous when it is their turn to see the doctor, a person might stop and take a moment to relax. Taking a few deep breaths may help calm the nerves. Relaxing for a few moments may help give a more accurate reading.


The primary complication of white coat syndrome is hypertension itself. Many people may believe that a fear of doctors or anxiety about the office visit causes their high blood pressure. However, the current research indicates that white coat syndrome may be an indication of future hypertension.

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