It’s a commonly believed myth that those with high blood pressure experience symptoms such as nervousness, sweating, difficulty sleeping or facial flushing. In fact, high blood pressure often has no symptoms at all.
Nearly one third of adults have high blood pressure, and nearly one third of those who have it don’t know it. Here are some ways to make sure you don't fall under that statistic.
Signs over symptoms
So how can you know if you have high blood pressure? Regular physician’s visits are the best way to know for sure, but there is a higher chance that you have high blood pressure if you:
- Suffer from diabetes, gout or kidney disease
- Are African-American
- Are in your early to middle adult years (especially if you’re a man)
- Are in your middle to late adult years (especially if you’re a woman)
- Are elderly
- Have a family history of high blood pressure
- Are obese
- Drink alcohol heavily
- Take oral contraceptives
- Consume excessive sodium
- Are physically inactive
If high blood pressure goes unchecked for long enough, it may begin to show itself through symptoms such as blood spots in the eyes, facial flushing, dizziness, severe headaches and anxiety, shortness of breath and nosebleeds. If you or a loved one is exhibiting these symptoms, you could be experiencing hypertensive crisis and should seek emergency medical treatment.
What to do if you see signs
Those 18 and over should ask their physician for a blood pressure reading every two years. Get checked in both arms to confirm that there’s no fluctuation in the reading. If you display any risk factors for developing high blood pressure or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should schedule more frequent readings.
If you’d like to get a blood pressure reading in between visits to your physician, seek out a blood pressure screening at a health resource fair or a local drug store. Be aware that these machines might provide inaccurate results.
Lower your risk of developing high blood pressure by:
- Lowering your sodium, caloric and fat intake
- Increasing your fiber intake
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating appropriate portions
- Increasing physical exercise
- Lowering your alcohol intake
The dangers of high blood pressure
High blood pressure causes damage to your artery walls, blood vessels and internal organs. The longer you let it go unchecked, the more damage it will cause and the more life-threatening that damage will be. If you don’t get your high blood pressure under control, it could cause a heart attack, a stroke, an aneurysm, heart failure, kidney damage, vision loss, memory loss, metabolic syndrome and more.
Don’t wait for symptoms to tell you that you have high blood pressure. If you think you might be at risk, make an appointment with your physician today.
Posted: 4/03/2015 by
Filed under: Blood, High, of, Pressure, Symptoms