High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when blood pressure is consistently 140/90 or higher for several months. The top number (systolic pressure) represents the amount of force in the arteries when the heart beats. The bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the force of blood on artery walls while the heart is resting.
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Hypertension is referred to as "the silent killer" because of the absence of noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed enough to reach dangerous levels.
A red, flushed face, ongoing headaches, dizziness, fatigue, blurry vision, upset stomach, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, frequent urination, heart palpitations, and ringing in the ears can be signs of hypertension. These symptoms may be subtle, but they should be taken seriously.
According to The National Institutes of health, untreated hypertension can lead to stroke, kidney failure, heart attacks, and heart failure.
Patients experiencing symptoms of hypertension should get their blood pressure checked immediately. Headaches that won't go away and shortness of breath are both symptoms that may signify a need for immediate medical attention.
Treating hypertension can be accomplished by working with a physician who will monitor blood pressure while tailoring medication to the patient's individual needs. Diet, exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption are lifestyle changes that can further improve blood pressure.
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