Hypertension is very common, affecting approximately 75 million Americans. That means one out of three American adults suffers from hypertension.
In most cases, people with high blood pressure have no symptoms at all, deeming this disease a silent killer. If you know you have high blood pressure and wait for symptoms before seeking treatment, you’re risking your life.
For some people, the only time high blood pressure produces symptoms is during a life-threatening emergency called a hypertensive crisis. In this case, you may experience very high blood pressure accompanied by a severe headache or nosebleed.
If you have not been diagnosed with hypertension and you notice your blood pressure is high, rest and retake your blood pressure 10 minutes later. If it’s still high, you should seek medical treatment.
If you take medication for high blood pressure and you notice that your blood pressure is no longer within the ranges your doctor has defined, you should notify your doctor right away so he or she can evaluate your treatment plan.
Finally, if your blood pressure is over 180/110 — even if just one number is over — seek medical attention in the emergency room or urgent care immediately.
High blood pressure puts strain on your blood vessels and your heart. Over time, this extra pressure or strain can increase your risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, or even dementia.
Hypertension risk can be easily reduced by doing the following:
Treatment of high blood pressure might include:
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