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8 Dangerous Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

It’s called the silent killer for a reason, high blood pressure or hypertension can often go undetected until a heart attack or stroke hits.

Sustained high blood pressure can lead to serious damage being done to the blood vessels. This can result in a range of conditions such as:

  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Vision loss
  • Kidney disease
  • As well as other problems.

This is a serious condition and in the US it’s believed that close to 30% of the population has high blood pressure.

So be sure to learn the symptoms of high blood pressure which we’re about to uncover and remember that for many there are no symptoms.

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First of all it’s important to understand that blood pressure is the force exerted on the arteries by the blood traveling through the vessels.

When a blood pressure reading is taken there are two readings one is called systolic, which is the top number. And the second is diastolic which is the bottom number.

A healthy reading is said to be 120 over 80.

Elevated blood pressure counts as: 120-129 top number while the diastolic is less than 80.

Stage 1 hypertension is classified when that top number is between 130-139 and or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89.

Stage 2 hypertension is if the systolic is above or equal to 140 and if you're diastolic is 90 or greater.

And a hypertensive crisis is when your systolic is over 180 and your diastolic is over 120.

It's important to see your physician if you think you could have hypertension as getting it under control can be a matter of life and death.

That’s why we’re going to explain what signs may suggest that you need to get your blood pressure checked. And we’ll uncover 8 dangerous symptoms of high blood pressure. As well as explain which ones indicate you’re in hypertensive crisis and need to get help immediately.

As I already mentioned, hypertension can often go undetected. However there are certain reasons that indicate you should have your pressure checked.

For example, if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are over 65
  • Have diabetes
  • Consume a lot of alcohol
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • Or have family members with heart disease

These are all risk factors for having high blood pressure. Because for many people there are no symptoms, you should get your pressure checked if any of these apply to you.

However there are  8 dangerous symptoms: your blood pressure is way too high and you need to get it checked immediately.

Number 8 - Flushing

Severe hypertension can include: flushing

Facial flushing happens when blood vessels in the face dilate. This can be unpredictable and may be triggered by:

  • weather conditions
  • hot drinks
  • skin care products
  • and certain foods.

Facial flushing can also be caused by emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise. These can also lead to a temporary elevation of blood pressure.

In some circumstances facial flushing can be related to hypertension, however it’s not always the cause. Therefore if you are experiencing this then be sure to get your blood pressure checked to be on the safe side.

Number 7 Nausea

This may seem completely unrelated to blood pressure but it can be a symptom as increased pressure in the head can cause nausea or vomiting.

It can develop suddenly and may be associated with dizziness. 

Especially if there is sudden fluctuation in pressure.

Pay careful attention as this can be a sign of a stroke, and hypertension is the leading risk factor for stroke.

If you’re also experiencing:

  • Loss of balance
  • Lack of coordination
  • And trouble walking.

Seek medical attention immediately.

Number 6 Blurry vision

Blurry vision or change in vision can occur if your blood pressure is elevated. This is because the retina in the back of your eyes has many small blood vessels. If blood pressure is high these vessels can be damaged.

There are three ways that elevated blood pressure can cause vision problems

Firstly, damage to your retina which is called retinopathy. If you’re diabetic and have hypertension you’re at high risk of this. This is because the blood vessels in the eye can become easily damaged. This can cause bleeding in the eye, blurred vision and complete loss of vision.

Secondly, fluid buildup under the retina, called choroidopathy. This can cause vision problems or occasionally scars can form that impair eyesight.

Thirdly, optic neuropathy which is nerve damage. This can be caused by compromised blood flow which can damage the optic nerve. This can result in bleeding within your eye or loss of vision.

A further symptom of blood pressure elevation is

Number 5 Fatigue

Feeling tired all the time could be the result of hypertension as it can prevent the heart from pumping blood efficiently . It can therefore compromise oxygen getting around the body.

As well as causing lung problems which add to the issue of lack of oxygen.

Having hypertension can increase the workload on your heart. Thus making you feel more tired than normal.

When the heart is working harder continuously like any muscle, the heart grows bigger . When this occurs it needs more blood but has decreased ability to keep blood flow optimal.

Furthermore high blood pressure is often associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. These can increase the feeling of tiredness.

Next up

Number 4 Nosebleeds

These can occur due to the tiny blood vessels in your nose being damaged by hypertension. In a Korean study they looked at 35,749 participants and found that individuals with a history of hypertension had a higher risk of nosebleeds necessitating medical care in comparison to individuals without any history of elevated blood pressure. But according to the American Heart Association nose bleeds are only experienced if you are in hypertensive crises.

Thus you should seek immediate attention.

In the case of hypertensive crises you may also experience

Number 3 Headaches

Having high blood pressure can create elevated pressure in the brain which can cause a headache. It can also result in blood leaking from the blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to swelling, which is extremely dangerous as the brain can not expand due to it being encased by the skull. Typically a headache caused by hypertension will:

  • Get worse with physical activity
  • Be on both sides of the head
  • And pulsate

This may also lead to our next dangerous symptom which is

Number 2 Weakness

especially pay attention if you have:

  • Leg weakness
  • Arm weakness
  • Or a droopy face

These are all indications that hypertension could have caused a stroke. Not everyone is immediately aware that they have suffered a stroke so please take note of these symptoms. And If you’re experiencing any you should consult a doctor straight away.

We’re about to unveil our number 1 dangerous symptom,

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Number 1 Chest Pain

Having hypertension affects the function of blood vessels and makes them less elastic. Thus reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause angina.  

Individuals with cardiovascular disease say they experience a slight discomfort  in the chest area although it’s not always described as pain.

If you’re experiencing chest pain along with shortness of breath then be sure to contact your doctor.

Relying on these symptoms to know if you have hypertension, could be leaving things too late, as often they come into play when your blood pressure is already very high.

If you do have any of the risk factors associated with hypertension then it would be advisable to do regular blood pressure readings. Most doctors’ offices take a blood pressure reading at every appointment. 

However many pharmacies have machines you can use to measure your blood pressure and you can even buy kits to do it at home.

It’s important to consider that certain issues can cause a temporary elevation of blood pressure, for example:

  • Stress
  • Physical Exertion
  • And white coat syndrome.

The latter is when people have elevated blood pressure in the doctor’s office, probably caused by worry around seeing their doctor. In this case it would be advisable to have a home test kit, which allows you to do it when you’re feeling relaxed.

So what should you do if you are diagnosed with elevated blood pressure?

Most doctors will advise on medications to take. However it’s important to note that medications do come with side effects. Thus if your pressure isn’t too high you may want to consider making lifestyle changes before using medications or use them together.

For example you may want to start doing some gentle exercise, which can help improve blood flow.

  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight 
  • And including lots of vegetables and fruits in your diet.

Eating these can help supply your body with two crucial minerals that help to balance blood pressure. These are magnesium and potassium.

For information why not check out our video Top 5 Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure

That sums up our 8 Dangerous Symptoms of High Blood Pressure. Let us know in the comments below if any of them surprised you

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Thanks for watching, have a heart healthy day!

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