If your blood pressure is usually above 140/90, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. You have high blood pressure if your top number is 140 or higher or your bottom number is 90 or higher, or both.
Despite what a lot of people think, high blood pressure usually doesn't cause headaches or make you feel dizzy or light-headed. It usually has no symptoms. But it does increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney or eye damage. The higher your blood pressure, the more your risk increases.
Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure. This goal may be below 140/90. Or it may be even lower if you have other health problems, such as diabetes, heart failure, or coronary artery disease.
Changes in your lifestyle, such as staying at a healthy weight, may help you lower your blood pressure. Your treatment also will include medicine. If you stop taking your medicine, your blood pressure will go back up.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. This may mean having symptoms that suggest that your blood pressure is causing a serious heart or blood vessel problem. Your blood pressure may be over 180/110.
For example, call 911 if:
Do not wait until your blood pressure comes down on its own. Get help right away.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: September 21, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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