7 Ways to Recognize Signs of High Blood Pressure

by Bethany
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Though not seen traditionally as serious as heart disease or cancer, high blood pressure has been called the “silent killer.” Regardless, high blood pressure can leave you at risk of developing other major health issues, such as heart disease or stroke. At the time, there is no known cure for high blood pressure, but with proper treatment and management, you can still lead a perfectly healthy life.

Blood pressure is defined as the amount of force that your blood is traveling through your bloodstream, and might be greater if there’s any blockage that may be obstructing its path. Moreover, certain lifestyle choices (such as smoking) or physical traits can put you at an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Finding the Right Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers, your systolic and diastolic number, and can be routinely checked by any doctor or outpatient facility. The normal healthy human being has a systolic (upper number) of 120, and a diastolic (lower number) of 80. Elevated blood pressure is 120-129 over 80, and stage 1 hypertension is usually 130-139 over 80-89. If your blood pressure is more than 140 over 90, it’s called stage 2 hypertension, and anything higher than 180 over 120 necessitates a doctor’s visit immediately.

Since it is so often unseen, it’s important to recognize the warning signs that accompany high blood pressure before it causes bigger issues. If you see any of the following in yourself or a loved one, make sure they see a doctor to get checked up.

Constant Headaches

Although many experts are divided on whether high blood pressure causes constant headaches, the consensus among most is that there is little to no correlation. The American Heart Association has stated that the two are not related, but does note that high blood pressure can cause a phenomenon known as malignant hypertension, or hypertensive crisis. During this event, the pressure in the brain continues to increase, creating a critical level of tension that no amount of pain medication can take care of. This is usually associated with blurred vision and chest pain, and can be dangerous if left untreated.

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Blurry Vision

Since high blood pressure is a measure of the blood’s force through your body, it can also affect some of the smallest veins in your body that center around the eye. Blurry vision can occur when those capillaries either burst or are strained, and can even make the person legally blind until it’s taken care of. The blurry vision can be fixed, but if it’s especially bad, or only in one eye, it could be a sign of high blood pressure and need to be fixed immediately. Medication, surgery, or any one of several other methods might be necessary to fix the underlying issue.

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Shortness of Breath

Blockages in your heart can cause all the other systems in your body to be affected, most notably your breathing. Pulmonary hypertension is a state in which the arteries in the lungs are smaller and harden, causing the blood flow to slow down substantially and making even the most mundane tasks exhausting.

Routine activity becomes difficult and you might even start to feel light-headed as well. This is because your heart is having to work harder to press the blood through the veins, which could lead to heart disease or damage, and the excess stress is putting an undue pressure on other parts of your body, of which shortness of breath is just one symptom.

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Dizzy Spells

A decreased amount of oxygen and blood flow in your body not only affects your heart and lungs, but can also impact your head as well, resulting in a series of dizzy spells, headaches, nausea, or any number of other maladies. These symptoms by themselves are not normally dangerous, but if they come at the same time as high blood pressure, it needs to be brought down as soon as possible. The more severe these symptoms are the quicker it needs to be handled, or the victim could end up with a heart attack or stroke.

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Pain in Legs

High blood pressure can also cause severe pain in legs because of the extra strain on the arteries due to increased blood flow. It may even result in Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which produces fatty deposits all over one specific area and results in poor circulation in your extremities.

People with PAD generally notice a pain in their legs while they’re walking or moving but goes away almost immediately after they stop, and high blood pressure is almost always one of the major culprits for PAD. Neutralizing this affect through medication, exercise, or other methods can help alleviate the pain.

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Frequent Cold Feet

Although frequent cold feet are normal for anyone as they age, hypertension and high blood pressure can cause your circulation to decrease and reduce the blood flow to your extremities, which also makes your hands and feet feel cold as well. Other issues may also be one of the signs, such as low blood pressure or dehydration, but any of the above can put undue stress and blockages within your veins, so it’s important to have a doctor check it out.

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Chest Pain

Any amount of unusual chest pain should warrant an immediate trip to the emergency room, as the repercussions can be fatal, but if you know that you are prone to high blood pressure a hypertension, make sure you monitor it even more closely. If you feel like your chest is tightening up, almost like someone is grabbing your heart with their bare hands, and you feel shooting pains down your left side, this is an indication that something is seriously wrong.

High blood pressure constricts the blood vessels that your circulation is moving through, and when those are tightened up, it makes it far easier for those processes to simply stop moving altogether.