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Asymptomatic Hypertension

Your blood pressure was elevated today. An elevated blood pressure alone without new symptoms is not immediately dangerous and is generally not treated in the emergency department (ED). Things like stress and pain can temporarily raise your blood pressure. However, chronically elevated blood pressure (hypertension) can put you at risk for serious conditions such as stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure. You can receive a diagnosis of ‘hypertension’ if your blood pressure is consistently elevated over multiple visits to the doctor. After evaluating you, we feel that you are safe to go home.

Steps to take at home:

  • Take any medications as prescribed.
  • Eat a healthy diet, avoiding high salt foods such as chips, pickles, and pizza.
  • Exercise and try to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid tobacco and street drugs.
  • Avoid over-the-counter decongestant medications unless recommended by a doctor.
  • Monitor your blood pressure, ideally with an automatic blood pressure machine at home.
  • Bring a list of your blood pressure values to your follow up appointment.
  • Follow up with your primary care doctor within one to two weeks to monitor your blood pressure and general health.

Please speak to your doctor or come back to the ED for new symptoms, such as severe headache, dizziness, confusion, weakness in an arm or leg, trouble speaking, abdominal pain, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or other new or worsening symptoms. Please review medication inserts for side effects and call the ED if you have any questions about the medications or care you received.

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