4 Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is being seen in record numbers in this country. About 1 out of every 3 adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension, and only about half of those people have it under control. Many Americans don’t even realize they have high blood pressure, so they aren’t able to take steps to lower their numbers to a healthier range.

Determining high blood pressure

Your blood pressure is identified by two different numbers. The top number is your systolic, and identifies the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number is the diastolic pressure and refers to the amount of pressure in your blood vessels when your heart is resting between beats.

A reading of less than 120/ 80 is the most desirable and considered to be normal. Blood pressure readings of 120/80 to 139/89 is considered prehypertensive, which means you’re at risk for developing high blood pressure. A reading of 140/90 or higher is full-blown hypertension, and you must take steps to control it.

The risks of uncontrolled hypertension

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to so many health issues, among them heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, dementia, kidney disease, and blindness. Many suffer from what’s known as “essential hypertension,” which means there really is no known cause.

Most people with hypertension can bring it back under control through lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, losing weight, getting exercise, and finding healthy ways to deal with stress. With a combination of these lifestyle changes, as well as medication and frequent blood pressure checks, you can rein in your hypertension, bring down the numbers, and lower your risks.

4 common symptoms

High blood pressure is called “the silent killer” for good reason. Many people never seem to experience any signs that their blood pressure is elevated, sometimes very elevated. Or it’s possible the symptoms are so vague and can be attributed to other causes, so they don’t see them for the red flag warnings they are.

Here are 4 common signs of hypertension:

  1. Nosebleed: Certainly a nosebleed, on occasion, isn’t cause to worry too much. Your sinuses may be acting up or allergies or just dry air can make you more susceptible to nosebleeds. However, if you rarely experience a nosebleed, and can’t think of any reason you might have one, contact Dr. Valdez’ office and schedule an appointment to have your blood pressure checked.

  2. Headaches: Everyone gets headaches now and again, and lots of things can cause them. Too much time at the computer screen, chocolate, coffee, stress, and the weather are the usual culprits. If you find you have a headache upon waking up in the morning, or you have a headache you can’t seem to shake, get checked out ASAP. A headache that’s “worse than ever” can indicate a serious cardiovascular issue.

  3. Lightheadedness: Dizziness or lightheadedness can indicate unstable blood pressure. In other words your numbers can be all over the place. This indicates a serious blood pressure-related issue, and can even be a sign of stroke.

  4. Shortness of breath: The cause of your shortness of breath may be related to running up the stairs, or it can be a sign of high blood pressure. If your shortness of breath came on suddenly, or you find everyday activities you could do before, like walking to your mailbox or your usual gym workout, are suddenly leaving you winded, it’s a good idea to contact our office immediately.

Overall, it’s important to pay attention to your body. Anytime you feel something isn’t quite right, listen to your intuition. Your body has a way of letting you know something is amiss, even before you experience a possibly-fatal event.

For your blood pressure concerns, or any of your family medical needs, please contact Jose L. Valdez, MD. Just call our office in Santa Ana, California, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Image: Pixabay

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