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How do I know if I have Hypertension? Are there Symptoms?

Most people will not experience any symptoms from Hypertension (High blood pressure). Some people may develop symptoms if their blood pressure is dangerously high, such as headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, chest pain or shortness of breath. This is why it is so important to have a regular checkup with your primary care physician. It is recommended that your blood pressure be checked at least once a year, or more if you have other medical conditions that put you at higher risk for hypertension, such as obesity or a family history of hypertension.

There are many blood pressure monitors easily available to check your blood pressure at home. It is very important that if you are using one of these devices that you bring it to your doctor’s office at least once a year to ensure it is working properly and that you are using it correctly to obtain accurate readings.

What should my blood pressure be?

A normal blood pressure reading should be less than or equal to 120/80 mm/Hg. Readings higher than this are considered elevated. High blood pressure is then further categorized into stages 1 and 2 based on how high the blood pressure is.

Can I prevent hypertension?

There are some lifestyle modifications you can make to help reduce your risk of hypertension and to help lower your blood pressure if elevated. Dietary changes such as reducing salt intake and or following the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension), weight loss if overweight, regular aerobic exercise, and limiting alcohol intake can all help lower your blood pressure. Your doctor can discuss further with you if you are at risk and how you can incorporate these changes to lower your risk.

Do you know your numbers?

To schedule an appointment with one of our Internal Medicine physicians, please call (225) 246-9240.