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Hypertension

When to Seek Medical Care

Call your health care provider if a routine blood pressure measurement (during health screening) reveals systolic blood pressure higher than 140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure higher than 90 mm Hg, or both.

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms:

Tell your health care provider if any family member has or has had high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.

Go to a hospital emergency department if your blood pressure is high when measured (for example, if your diastolic pressure is greater than 100 mm Hg).

Go to a hospital emergency department if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Unexplained dizziness of faintness
  • Unexplained blurred vision or loss of vision (partial or complete)
  • Chest pain or breathlessness that is severe or occurs at rest
  • Unexplained sudden weakness or other symptoms of stroke

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Self-Care at Home

The management and control of high blood pressure involves two major options, lifestyle modification (detailed here) and medications (detailed in Treatment).

  • Lifestyle options include changing what you eat and your activity level.
  • Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol consumption will also help keep your blood pressure in the healthy range.

Maintain a healthy weight.

  • If you are overweight or obese, lose weight. Aim for a healthy weight range for your height and body type. Your health care provider can help you calculate a target weight.

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