High blood pressure is often linked with few or no symptoms at all. Many individuals have the condition for years without even knowing about it. Nevertheless, just because the condition does not have symptoms, it does not mean that it is harmless. Actually, high blood pressure that is not properly controlled can cause damage to the arteries. The condition is also a potential risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular issues.
Remember that high blood pressure is a chronic condition. There are 2 main categories – secondary hypertension and primary hypertension.
- Primary hypertension – develops in a gradual manner over time and most cases are linked to hereditary factors
- Secondary hypertension – this is a direct result of a separate health issue
In such cases, the only way to know for sure is to get the blood pressure tested.
Uncommon symptoms of high blood pressure
In rare circumstances, individuals who have chronic high blood pressure might experience symptoms such as the following:
- Dizzy spells
- Dull headaches
- Frequent episodes of nosebleeds
What are the emergency symptoms?
Once symptoms do occur, it is only when the blood pressure rises abruptly and high enough to be considered as a medical emergency which is known as hypertensive crisis.
Always bear in mind that hypertensive crisis is characterized as having a blood pressure of 180 or higher for the systolic or 110 or higher from the diastolic. When checking the blood pressure and a reading this high is achieved, you have to wait for a few minutes and check again to ensure that the initial reading was accurate.
Other indications of hypertensive crisis might include the following:
- Intense headache
- Shortness of breath
- Severe anxiety
After waiting for a few minutes, if the second reading remains at 180 or above, do not wait for the blood pressure to go down on its own. Call for emergency assistance right away.
Remember that this can lead to severe complications including brain swelling or bleeding, fluid in the lungs, seizures among pregnant women with eclampsia, stroke or a tear in the main artery of the heart.
There are various measures to treat high blood pressure that ranges from weight loss, lifestyle modifications and medications. The doctor will decide on the suitable plan for the individual.
A healthy diet is an effective way to reduce the blood pressure level. It is vital to stick with foods that are low in salt and sodium and rich in potassium.
There are various medications that can be utilized to manage high blood pressure if lifestyle modifications are not effective. Most cases might require various medications such as the following:
- Diuretics – work by eliminating excess sodium from the body
- Beta-blockers – work by slowing down the heartbeat to minimize the flow of blood via the veins
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – work by relaxing and constricting the blood vessels
- Calcium channel blockers – work blocking calcium from moving within the muscle cells of the heart and the blood vessels
- Central-acting agents – work by reducing the nerve signals that instruct the blood vessels to constrict