High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in the developed world. It’s also one of the most mysterious. In fact, it is often called the silent killer for its ability to strike people dead (in the most extreme cases) without showing any previous symptoms at all. But more often than not, people suffering from high blood pressure exhibit subtle symptoms of it but they often disregard them as something not serious. For this reason they may fail to see a doctor who would have easily diagnosed the condition with the most basic checkup.
It is therefore a good idea to pay attention to any signs of high blood pressure and to take them seriously. But how does one determine that they indeed are suffering from elevated blood pressure? What are the symptoms to look out for?
Headaches can be an indication of high blood pressure but because they can also be due to many other things such as stress or anxiety many people don’t take them seriously, even if headaches sometimes become extremely painful.
Most of the early warning signs of high blood pressure, such as headaches, can be easily related to the condition: think of the old headache commercials on TV showing a head between a vice… that’s high blood pressure!
2. Fatigue, dizziness or confusion
How could hypertension cause these symptoms? Again, think of the physiology. If you rise quickly and your blood vessels are narrowed (a common feature of high blood pressure) you may not get sufficient blood to your brain, hence the dizziness. Confusion has related causes.
3. Blurred vision
A related symptom, which may often give you an earlier tip-off than blurred vision is sensitivity or tenderness of the eyes to touch. This happens because high blood pressure also increases the pressure within the eyes. This can make them sensitive to touch and, at a later stage, slight distortion of the eyeball due to pressure can actually affect your vision.
4. Noise or buzzing in the ears
This is caused by internal pressure in the ears in a similar way as that which causes vision disturbances.
5. Chest pain and/or nosebleeds
These final symptoms are obvious and alarming. You should consider them advanced warning signs that your blood pressure may be seriously elevated.
All of these symptoms can have many different causes, not just hypertension, and many of them are harmless, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true if you begin to notice more than just one or two. The more symptoms you have the stronger the picture that starts to emerge.
Even if you have just one vague symptom or an inner suspicion that you may have high blood pressure it makes good sense to at least get your blood pressure checked. And remember that it’s true that most instances of high blood pressure show no symptoms at all. This is another reason for regular checkups. If left untreated hypertension can lead to other more serious health problems and even sudden death in extreme cases.