What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:
- coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
- strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
- heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked
Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.
High Blood Pressure: 6 Signs And Symptoms Of Hypertension
- 20 Sep 2018
High blood pressure or hypertension is often associated with few or no symptoms. Theres a reason why hypertension is called the silent killer because many people suffer from it without facing any symptoms.
However, just because high blood pressure is often symptomless doesnt mean its harmless. In fact, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, causes damage to your arteries, especially those in the kidneys and eyes. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems.
If you are worried that you could be suffering from hypertension, here are 6 signs that you need to watch out for.
Regular Blood Pressure Checks
All adults should have their blood pressure checked regularly.footnote 2
Your doctor can let you know how often you should get your blood pressure checked. It may depend on what your blood pressure is and your risk for heart disease. You can get your blood pressure checked during any routine medical visit.
The automated devices you find in grocery stores or drugstores may not be accurate. Having your blood pressure checked at the doctor’s office is best.
A home blood pressure monitor makes it easy to keep track of your blood pressure. It’s a good idea to bring your home monitor to the doctor’s office to check its accuracy.
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Treating High Blood Pressure With Medicines
If lifestyle changes don’t lower your blood pressure to your goal, you may need to take daily medicines as well.
Medicines controlbut usually don’t curehigh blood pressure. So you will probably need to take them for the rest of your life. Most people need to take two or more medicines.
- High Blood Pressure: Should I Take Medicine?
Some people find it hard to take their medicines properly. They may feel it’s too much troubleespecially when they don’t feel sick. Or they’re worried about side effects. Some people find it hard to keep track of when and how to take their medicines.
If you have trouble taking high blood pressure medicines for any reason, talk to your doctor.
High Eye Pressure And Headaches
High eye pressure can be the reason why you are experiencing headaches. Many people find that they get a headache when they experience eye pain or vision problems. In some instances, a headache can result in pressure behind the eyes, so its important to see a doctor to determine which symptom is the culprit.
If your headache and eye pressure is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a runny nose, fever, or upper respiratory infection, then the headache and eye pressure will likely go away once your cold does. You may also experience sinus pressure in addition to a headache if you have high eye pressure.
There are two types of headaches that can cause pressure behind your eyes. The first is a tension headache and the second is a cluster headache. A tension headache affects nearly 80 percent of people and is the most common type of headache. These usually go away on their own or with the use of pain medication. A cluster headache is more painful and may come and go more frequently than a tension headache.
Along with eye pressure, symptoms of a headache may include:
- Overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol
Its important to see a doctor to rule out the reasons for your headaches and eye pressure. If your eye pressure clears up as soon as your headache does, then it is probably not serious. An eye exam can be done to determine whether your headache is a cause for concern or not.
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Symptoms Of Sudden High Blood Pressure
Unlike traditional high blood pressure, where there are no visual symptoms until major damage has occurred, sudden high blood pressure alerts you immediately.
- Weakness or numbness in arms, legs, face
- Mentality changes such as anxiety, fatigue, confusion, restlessness
In extreme cases of sudden high blood pressure, there may be bleeding from damaged blood vessels, blindness from ruptured retina nerves or vessels, and possibly seizures.
Excessive Salt Raises Blood Pressure
Too much sodium can cause water retention that puts increased pressure on your heart and blood vessels. People with high blood pressure and those at a high risk for developing hypertension, including adults over 50 and black men and women, should have no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily of salt.
Even people with normal levels should eat salt in moderation. Stick to no more than 2,300 mg of sodium , per day.
Most dietary sodium comes from processed foods. Rules of thumb are to choose foods with 5% or less of the daily value of sodium per serving and opt for fresh poultry, fish and lean meats, rather than canned, smoked or processed. Similarly, fresh or frozen vegetables are better than canned.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if people cut just 1/2 teaspoon of salt per day, it could help lower the number of new cases of heart disease per year by up to 120,000.
Further, potassium found in foods like sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, oranges, low-fat milk and halibut can counterbalance the pressure-increasing effects of sodium by helping to rid the body of excess sodium.
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What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure
If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider prescribe hypertension medications. Your provider will take into account these drugs effect on other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease, and other drugs youre taking.
You might need to take hypertension medicine from now on. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2020.
Regardless Of The Cause Anxiety Needs To Be Controlled
Before getting into the relationship between anxiety and high blood pressure, the reality is that your anxiety needs to be controlled in order to avoid further raising your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure – caused by anxiety or not – you’re putting your body through considerable stress every day. Reducing anxiety is one of the first steps towards reducing the stress on your body.
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Treating High Blood Pressure With Lifestyle Changes
Your doctor may suggest that you make one or more of the following changes:
- Lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing extra kilograms may bring your blood pressure down.
- Get more active. Regular aerobic exercise can help lower blood pressure.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Cut back on drinking. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 9 drinks a week for women.
- Eat less sodium. To help lower blood pressure, try to eat less than 2,000 mg a day.footnote 3
- Follow theDASH diet. The DASH eating plan can help you lower your blood pressure.
For tips on how to do these things, see the Living With High Blood Pressure section of this topic.
One Woman’s Story:
“I could never have imagined I could get down so low by losing weight. I feel sure it was the WAY I lost weight, with DASH.” Izzy
Treatments For Sudden Rise In Blood Pressure
A rise in already high blood pressure requires immediate medical attention. You can expect to have intravenous therapy and tests to determine what caused the spike in your pressure. Once your pressure is stabilized to a satisfactory level, then your doctor will discuss further treatment. Depending on your current health condition and any issues aside from high blood pressure, your treatment will vary.For example, if there is fluid in your lungs, you will be treated with prescribed diuretics to remove the fluid. If there is damage to your heart, you will be prescribed specific heart medication. Medications you may be taking may need to be adjusted or changed to another type, depending on your test results. Any kidney damage or tumors may require surgery.
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How Common Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition, it is estimated that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have high blood pressure but are not getting treatment for it.
In 90-95% of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure. But all available evidence shows that lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.
Risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- poor diet
- being overweight
- excessive alcohol consumption.
Also, for reasons not fully understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origin are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.
Diagnosis Of High Blood Pressure
The best way to diagnose HBP is to have it measured. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury , has two numbers.
- Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during heartbeats.
- Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories. The American Heart Associations guidelines are as follow:
- Normal blood pressure: A reading of less than 120 and 80
- Elevated blood pressure: A reading ranging from 120 to 129 and below 80
- Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130 to 139 or 80 to 89
- Stage 2 hypertension: A reading ranging from 140 or higher or 90
- Hypertensive crisis : A reading higher than 180 and/or 120
*If you have an electronic blood pressure machine and would like to measure your blood pressure at home, please follow The American Heart Associations guidelines:
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Women
What is high blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the inside lining of the arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when that force increases and stays higher than normal for a period. This condition can damage the blood vessels, heart, brain, and other organs. About
High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore
If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.
While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.
For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.
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High Blood Pressure Emergency Symptoms
Headaches and nosebleeds can be symptoms of a hypertensive emergency or crisis. If your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher and you have these symptomsalong with chest pain, back pain, numbness or weakness, or a change in visionyou should seek care right away.
“Call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room,” Dr. Nambi says.
How Do You Feel When You Have High Blood Pressure
There are always outliers with high blood pressure who will experience high blood pressure headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nosebleeds, or other symptoms.
The American Heart Association notes that blood spots in the eyes and facial flushing are also among the symptoms. Neither of these are caused by high blood pressure per se. For example, facial flushing, which occurs when blood vessels in the face expand, may occur with stress, alcohol consumption, and exerciseall of which can raise blood pressure temporarily.
Symptoms can be the chicken or the egg, Dr. Nambi explains. “You may have head pain and as a result, your blood pressure climbs, or your blood pressure may cause the pain.” If you are taking medication to control your blood pressure, it could be the cause of symptoms, as well.
It’s not always easy to figure out what is happening and why, Dr. Nambi says.
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How Do You Make Lifestyle Changes
Making any kind of change in the way you live your daily life is like being on a path. The path leads to success. Here are the first steps on that path:
Most People With Hypertension Feel Okay
Hypertension usually does not produce any symptoms, because the organs of the body can resist high blood pressure for a long time. Thats why its important to have regular medical examinations to make sure your blood pressure isnt creeping up as you grow older.High blood pressure over a period of time can contribute to many illnesses, including:
- heart attack
The effects of high blood pressure on the arteries are worsened by:
- cigarette smoking
- high levels of saturated fat in the diet
- high blood cholesterol
Responses to some types of stress may affect both blood pressure and changes in the arteries, but this remains scientifically uncertain.
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Treatment Of High Blood Pressure
Treatment for HBP depends on its severity and associated risks of developing other diseases. Treatment options include:
- Make and keep appointments to see your doctor for routine check-ups and follow-up tests.
- ACE inhibitors will help blood vessels relax and open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers will help blood vessels open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
- Beta blockers will help reduce your blood pressure.
- Alpha blockers will help reduce the arteries resistance, relaxing the muscle tone of the vascular walls.
- Alpha-2 receptor agonists will help reduce blood pressure by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic portion of the involuntary nervous system.
- Calcium channel blockers will help relax and open up narrowed blood vessels, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure.
- Combined alpha and beta blockers are used as an IV drip for those patients experiencing a hypertensive crisis.
- Central agonists will help decrease the blood vessels ability to tense up or contract.
- Diuretics water pills will help reduce the amount of fluid retention in your body.
- Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors will help reduce blood pressure by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Vasodilators will help the muscle in the walls of the blood vessels to relax, allowing the vessel to dilate.
What To Think About
- The medicine your doctor chooses may be based on other health problems you have. For example, doctors often prescribe ACE inhibitors for people who have diabetes or heart failure.
- Some people who get a cough while taking ACE inhibitors do well with ARBs, which usually don’t cause a cough.
- You may need to avoid some over-the-counter medicines. For example, check with your doctor before you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofenwith high blood pressure medicines. NSAIDs may raise blood pressure and keep your blood pressure medicines from working well. NSAIDs may also interact with your blood pressure medicine and cause kidney problems.
- Don’t take any other prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or other natural health products unless you talk to your doctor first. Medicines can interact with each other and keep blood pressure medicines from working right or cause a bad reaction.
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