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Prevention is key when it comes to life threatening things such as high blood pressure, so know the signs and symptoms.

Hypertension is a very tricky medical condition, particularly because it doesn’t have a specific set of symptoms that could indicate its presence. Some people only discover that they have high blood pressure when it’s too late, when the condition is already in a more advanced stage. While there are a few signs that could indicate hypertension, keep in mind that most of them aren’t specific to high blood pressure and could, in fact, be signs of another medical condition.

Important note: certain signs and symptoms may not be an indicator of hypertension, but could be the body’s reaction to certain types of medication meant to counteract high blood pressure. Hypertension is referred to as the “silent killer” because it’s symptomless, so the best chances of you discovering it is making your regular checkups.

1. Dizziness

Dizziness, as you know, can be caused by a number of different conditions, and sometimes appears as a side effect to certain hypertension meds. However, dizziness is not a direct consequence of high blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly.

Depending on how your body reacts to hypertension medication, dizziness can appear suddenly, and it can sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms, such as trouble walking or loss of coordination. This could indicate that you’re dealing with a stroke, so it’s best to consult a specialist immediately.

2. Bleeding eye spots

Also known as subconjunctival hemorrhage, bleeding spots in the eyes can also be a symptom of high blood pressure, although it’s most common in people who suffer from diabetes and is considered a sign of that condition.

When it comes to bleeding eye spots, it’s important to note that high blood pressure isn’t the cause of it, but it can be a sign of optic nerve damage in people that have failed to treat their hypertension.

3. Facial flushing

This particular sign is easy to spot, as it becomes very visible once the face turns red either completely, or in specific areas. From a medical point of view, facial flushing is a sign of dilated blood vessels in the facial region.

The problem is that facial flushing can be an indicator of a wide range or issues, and can appear as a natural response when we consume spicy foods, expose our skin to the sun for a long period of time, or can even be a side effect of certain facial creams. It could even be a response to stress.

As with bleeding eye spots, hypertension does not cause facial flushing, but when it appears, there are a few odds that it could be a cause of high blood pressure. If facial flushing keeps reappearing over a short period of time, you want to note your activities before, as it can be a result of intense physical exercise, alcohol consumption, or even the aftermath of a hot bath.

4. Other signs of hypertension

There are a series of other signs which could indicate the presence of hypertension, but it’s always tricky to diagnose it without actually monitoring the blood pressure. Thankfully, this can be done by every individual in the comfort of their own home, as the blood pressure monitor can be bought in almost any pharmacy.

Taking your blood pressure is a painless process, and it is the most accurate way to evaluate the situation and determine if your systolic and diastolic pressure are within the normal intervals. Some of the other signs and symptoms of hypertension may include:

  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, as strain put on the blood vessels and your heart have consequences that reflect throughout your entire body.
  • Blood in urine isn’t that common, but it could be an indicator of severe hypertension.
  • Chest pains may be a consequence of high blood pressure, especially when the heart is feeling tired.
  • Nosebleed can sometimes occur, but the chances of them being related to hypertension are pretty much the same as in the case of blood spots in the eyes.

When a person experiences symptoms of high blood pressure, it’s typically a sign of a more advanced state and will require medical assistance immediately. A person that suffers from hypertension will experience blood pressure spikes, and could go into hypertensive crisis.

5. Hypertensive crisis

When your systolic blood pressure reading is above 180, and your diastolic pressure reading exceeds 120, it’s a sign that you’re experiencing a hypertensive crisis. This is normally a sign of secondary blood pressure, but it can also occur when you skip taking your medication.

If you are confronted with this situation after having monitored your blood pressure at home, wait a few minutes and make another test. A second reading can be conclusive in case the first one lacks accuracy.

If the second reading is the same as the first or higher (still above 180/120), call an ambulance or go to the hospital immediately. Waiting for your blood pressure to drop is not an option, and going to the hospital can save your life. 

If a hypertensive crisis is left untreated, it can lead to a number of health complications, such as brain bleeding or swelling, stroke, fluid accumulating in the lungs, and even a tear in the aorta. All of these can result in permanent health damage, or even death.

Conclusion

High blood pressure is easy to diagnose, as long as you perform the precise test require to do so. When it comes to hypertension, one should never rely on the possibility of having symptoms that could lead to suspicions of high blood pressure. Prevention is key, especially in health-related issue.

The good news is that hypertension isn’t fatal if you keep in under control, but you will have to pay close attention to what could raise your blood pressure for the rest of your life.

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