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When to Call Your Doctor About High Blood Pressure

Hypertension symptoms? Often there aren't any. High blood pressure is often called the "silent" disease, because it may have no noticeable symptoms. 

If undetected and untreated, hypertension can cause heart disease (including congestive heart failure and heart attack), stroke, and kidney disease. That's why it is important to have regular physical examinations to make sure your blood pressure is within the normal range. This is especially important if your blood pressure has ever been high, if you have a family history of hypertension, or if you are gaining weight.

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About one in three adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. More than 90% of adults who survive into their 80s will develop elevated blood pressure, also called hypertension. Although high blood pressure is common, it's not harmless. High blood pressure is a major cause of atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging process that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Blood pressure higher than 140/90 is seen in: 69% of people who have their first heart attack 77% of people who have their first...

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If you are being treated for high blood pressure, your doctor can answer any questions or concerns you may have during your regular visits. However, there may be situations that warrant a call to your doctor. For example:

  • If you aren't responding to the treatment your doctor prescribed and your blood pressure is still high
  • If you have certain symptoms, including fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, headache, excessive sweating, problems with your vision, or confusion; these may be serious and should warrant prompt medical attention. They could be from uncontrolled high blood pressure or from medication side effects.

If you have any concerns about your condition, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC on May 08, 2012
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