An Overview Of High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the commonly observed medical conditions in today’s world. It will surprise you that 7 out of every 10 persons today suffers from high BP. However, the disease remains undiagnosed for years due to lack of noticeable symptoms.
People seldom realize that they have high BP and often get to know only after having suffered a cardiac arrest, kidney disease or damage to the eyes. Read on for an overview of high blood pressure and its symptoms, which will help you understand the telltale signs of high BP and avoid serious health complications. Read on to know more about symptoms of high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure or hypertension?
A condition in which high or increased pressure is noticed in the arteries (the blood vessels involved in the supply of blood to the entire body) is referred to as high blood pressure or hypertension. Initially the disease does not show any symptoms, but can overnight personify into more severe complications.
Blood pressure is measured using a blood pressure cuff and is expressed as two numbers. The top larger number is known as systolic pressure and bottom lower number is known as diastolic pressure. Normal blood pressure reading is said to be around 120/80. Anything greater than 140/100 is referred to as hypertension. Some of the factors contributing to high blood pressure are:
- Socioeconomic conditions
- Medical conditions
Symptoms of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a “silent killer” that progresses without any noticeable and severe symptoms. Very few people experience symptoms of high blood pressure. Doctors claim that lives can be saved if only people were more educated and can understand the symptoms associated with high BP.
Some of the symptoms reported by people suffering with high blood pressure include:
- Moderate to severe headache
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the chest region
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of lower limbs in the legs
- Reduction in urine output
- Blood in urine
- Pounding in ears, neck and chest region
If untreated, high blood pressure can cause irreversible damage to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and eyes. Patients with elevated blood pressure often develop more severe health complications. In some cases, high BP may also cause breakage of vessels and stroke.
Complications of high blood pressure
High blood pressure for a prolonged period damages the body’s ability to function normally, resulting in various other health complications. Some of the common complications that develop due to high blood pressure include:
- Aneurysm: Formation of an unusual bulge in the artery walls is referred to asan aneurysm. The bulge often grows without causing any symptoms until it grows big enough to rupture or exert pressure on the surrounding body parts or block the blood flow. After the bulge grows fully, symptoms begin to develop in the organs surrounding the bulge.
- Chronic kidney problems: Narrowing of blood vessels in the kidneysthat in turn reduces blood supply to the organ resulting in kidney failure.
- Loss of cognitive skills: Prolonged high blood pressure causes change in cognitive functions. The person experiences loss of memory, difficulty in speaking with appropriate words, and cannot concentrate for a long period.
- Damage to eyes: Aneurysm of blood vessels in the regions surrounding the eyes or rupture of blood vessels in the eyesdue to high blood pressure causes bleeding in the eyes. Rupture of blood vessels in the eyes causes vision damage or complete loss of vision.
- Heart attack: Blocking of blood supply to the heart causes breakdown of heart resulting in heart attack. Oxygen supply to the heart also reduces due to lack of sufficient blood supply to the heart. It results in symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain in the chest region and discomfort in the upper part of the body.
- Peripheral arterial disease: Plaques form in the arteries supplying blood to the legs. This results in symptoms such as numbness, heaviness in the legs, buttocks, and pain in legs while walking.
- Stroke: Blockage of blood supply to the brain causes stroke. It causes symptoms such as sudden onset of weakness, numbness in legs, arms and face, and difficulty speaking and seeing.
To prevent damageto vital organs of the body and even untimely death, it is recommended to seek medical care immediately if the patient is seen suffering with any of the above complications.
Seeking medical help
Patients suffering with persistent headaches, chest pain or difficulty breathing should consult a physician immediately without negligence and get their blood pressure monitored to prevent stroke or heart attack.