Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. What’s particularly alarming about this condition is the absence of noticeable symptoms, often leaving individuals unaware of their need for treatment. It’s crucial for those with high blood pressure to have it monitored regularly. In fact, about one-third of adults over the age of 20 are affected by this condition.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause headaches that are often dull and persistent. These headaches are more likely to occur when blood pressure is extremely elevated. Typically, they may present in various areas, but are commonly felt at the back of the head near the neck. Although they resemble stress headaches, they may occur more frequently.
Shortness of Breath
As we age or if our fitness levels decline, it’s not uncommon to experience shortness of breath after engaging in activities that expend energy, such as climbing stairs or running to catch a bus. While this sensation is often nothing to worry about, it can also indicate high blood pressure, which is typically caused by the gradual thickening and stiffening of the heart wall as the condition worsens. If you find yourself frequently struggling to catch your breath, it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked.
Chest pains can sometimes be a sign of high blood pressure, but they may also occur during heart attacks or panic attacks. Regardless of the cause, persistent chest pain warrants a medical evaluation. In the case of hypertension, the pain might result from damage to the arteries that carry blood away from the heart. Left untreated, high blood pressure can also cause the heart to enlarge, further emphasizing the importance of seeking medical attention for this symptom.
Lack of sleep, stress, and busy lifestyles can all contribute to exhaustion, as can various medical conditions. While exhaustion alone may not necessarily indicate high blood pressure, it could be a symptom. For adults, a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. If an individual often feels fatigued, the extra effort their heart has to put forth to pump blood could be the underlying cause.
Nausea is commonly associated with issues such as overeating, food poisoning, ulcers, or gallbladder disease; however, it can also be a sign of high blood pressure. If an individual experiences recurring nausea or vomiting without a history of gallbladder problems, ulcers, or dietary changes that could explain these symptoms, a doctor may consider examining their blood pressure along with other potential causes. Detecting high blood pressure early on can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing serious side effects.
If left untreated, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can lead to vision problems and other eye-related diseases. This is due to the excess pressure damaging the blood vessels in the eyes. One such eye disease caused by hypertension is called hypertensive retinopathy, which can develop over time if high blood pressure is not properly managed.
Ringing in the Ears
Tinnitus, the persistent ringing or buzzing sound with no external source, could be a warning sign of dangerously high blood pressure levels. Elevated blood pressure may cause a pounding sensation in the head, which can manifest as a ringing sound. People who experience both tinnitus and high blood pressure often report more intense symptoms of the former. Furthermore, hypertension increases the likelihood of developing tinnitus in affected individuals.
Severe hypertension, also known as malignant hypertension, occurs when blood pressure reaches or exceeds 180/120 and can lead to symptoms such as lightheadedness, confusion, and even slurred speech. Some individuals may also experience memory issues and difficulty with problem-solving. This particular effect of high blood pressure is especially dangerous, as the mental symptoms may leave the person unaware of their condition. These symptoms often represent a more advanced stage of hypertension and could signal that an individual is either experiencing, or on the brink of, a stroke or significant damage to their kidneys or eyes.
While high blood pressure isn’t a direct cause of nosebleeds, also known as epistaxis, having hypertension can worsen a nosebleed if it occurs. This is because hypertension can interfere with blood clotting and cause blood to flow more rapidly. Furthermore, individuals with high blood pressure may experience a higher frequency of nosebleeds compared to those with normal blood pressure, as their blood vessels are more susceptible to damage and deterioration, making them more fragile.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can wreak havoc on various parts of the body, evident by the wide array of symptoms it can produce. Among the organs that can be adversely affected by untreated or severe hypertension are the kidneys. When the blood vessels responsible for supplying the kidneys become damaged, it hampers the organ’s ability to perform its crucial functions. In cases where kidney disease is diagnosed before high blood pressure, doctors often look into the latter as a potential cause. Kidney damage shares several symptoms with hypertension, such as nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath. However, it can also manifest in urinary tract-specific issues, such as experiencing pressure or pain during urination, as well as changes in urine color or volume.