High blood pressure symptoms
High blood pressure, or hypertension, does not usually manifest symptom because the organs of the body can manage high blood pressure for a long time. In fact, most of the time for most cases of high blood pressure no symptoms are present. Some symptoms that may occur during hypertension include:
When blood pressure remains high over time, it can damage the body and can cause a number of other serious conditions. Or sometimes high blood pressure can be combined with other medical conditions which can worsen or threaten health. These include:
Aneurysms - An abnormal bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery can form. Aneurysms commonly occur in the arteries in the brain, legs, intestines, or spleen on the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body. What’s worse is that sometimes aneurysms are not felt, they can burst and cause bleeding in the head, internally or externally of brain tissue, resulting in brain damage or even fatality.
Heart problems - The heart may become larger or weaker, which may lead to heart failure as the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body and heart muscles fail. Or arteries throughout the body may narrow, which limits blood flow and can cause a heart attack.
Kidney failure – Kidney failure can occur when blood vessels in the kidney narrow as a result of continued high blood pressure.
Narrowed arteries - Arteries throughout the body can narrow and decrease blood supply (especially to the heart, brain, kidneys, and legs). Narrowed arteries can lead to stroke, kidney failure, or amputation of part of the leg.
Pregnancy - Some women are diagnosed with HBP for the first time while they're pregnant. HBP can cause problems for both a mother and her fetus. For example, high blood pressure can damage the mother's kidneys and other organs. It also can cause the baby to be born early and/or with a low birth weight. In the most serious cases, the mother has a condition called preeclampsia which can threaten the lives of both the mother and the unborn child.
Vision changes – Untreated high blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the eyes to burst or bleed, leading to vision changes or even blindness.
When to seek help
It is important to always have your blood pressure checked during an annual check-up (especially if someone in your family has been diagnosed with high blood pressure). If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you will have regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor. But be sure to call your doctor right away if home monitoring indicates that your blood pressure remains high or you exhibit any of the following symptoms:
The sooner you identify possible high blood pressure and treat it, the better your chances to avoid problems like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Following a healthy lifestyle is an important part of controlling high blood pressure. In fact, it’s important to have regular medical examinations to make sure your blood pressure isn’t gradually increasing as you grow older. But how do doctors diagnose high blood pressure? Continue reading here to learn more about how to diagnose hypertension and making sense of blood pressure readings.