High blood pressure is ominously branded the “silent killer” because the condition rarely shows any symptoms until it is serious. Sustained high blood pressure can be fatal. Occasionally, noticeable red flags do appear, however. Have you noticed these symptoms?
According to Bupa, recognisable symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Nose bleeds
- Stomach pain
- Blurred vision
“You may want to see your GP if you get a combination of any of these symptoms frequently. They may indicate high blood pressure or something else that needs to be treated,” said the healthy.
Eye problems and nausea can be particular signs of very high blood pressure or increased pressure on your brain, it added.
According to Blood Pressure UK, it is common practice for a doctor to conduct an eye test on someone diagnosed with high blood pressure. A simple test can look at the small blood vessels in the back of your eye, to check if any damage has been done by high blood pressure, the charity said.
“Looking at the back of the eye reveals whether or not your small blood vessels (capilliaries) have thickened, narrowed or burst.
“This is the only place where the small blood vessels can be viewed and often any problems here are repeated in the small blood vessels in places that cannot be seen, such as in the kidneys,” it added.
According to the NHS, if the symptoms are not addressed, persistent high blood pressure can cause a wide-range of serious health complications, including:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Aortic aneurysms
- Kidney disease
- Vascular dementia
There are simple, incremental steps people can take to bring a high blood pressure back under control.
Regular physical activity is one effective measure. The British Heart Foundation recommends doing moderate-intensity activity every day and building up to at least 150 minutes per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
This will also help people maintain a healthy weight, another key factor.