High blood pressure is one of those health conditions that we should all be keeping an eye out for. Unfortunately, it’s also a condition that you can easily miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Do you know how to spot the symptoms of high blood pressure?
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
It’s common knowledge that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is becoming an increasingly significant public health issue. In fact, nearly half of all American adults struggle with it. However, did you know that one in three people with high blood pressure are not aware of it? Because high blood pressure symptoms are often not as dramatic as some other medical issues, they can be easy to miss.
High blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure (the upper number) of 130 or more and diastolic pressure (the lower number) of 90 or more. High blood pressure carries a heightened risk of cardiovascular issues, heart attacks, strokes, and other deadly health events. The likelihood of these issues are compounded by aging, so seniors should be especially aware of them. Uncontrolled high blood pressure has also been connected to other health issues you may not expect, such as dementia. If you are not actively monitoring your blood pressure, you may not even know you have a problem until one of these more serious consequences occurs.
The good news is that there are many effective treatments for high blood pressure, and early detection will help you get it under control before it causes severe damage. Learn to spot the signs of high blood pressure so that you can make proactive choices to protect your health.
How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure?
It’s important to note that many people with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms. Because of that, you should always be actively monitoring your blood pressure, even if you don’t think you’re in a high-risk group. Be sure to request blood pressure readings at annual check-ups and wellness visits, as well as community health events and other opportunities.
That being said, while some people experience no symptoms, many people will have one or two symptoms of high blood pressure before a diagnosis occurs. Here are the most common symptoms of uncontrolled hypertension:
- Severe headaches
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Blood in the urine
- Excessive nosebleeds
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Even if it is not a hypertensive episode, there could be another serious medical problem taking place.
In addition to these symptoms, there are also some physical effects that can occur concurrently with high blood pressure but aren’t necessarily indicative of a serious issue. While not as urgent, you should still inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Vision changes (“floaters” or flashes of light in field of vision)
- Periods of fatigue or confusion
- Excessive sweating or nervousness
- Facial flushing
Even if these symptoms don’t seem particularly pressing, it’s still best to rule high blood pressure out as a cause.
While knowing these symptoms can be helpful, the best and most reliable source of blood pressure information is always your doctor. If you have the symptoms of high blood pressure, be sure to discuss them with a trusted medical care provider.
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