High blood pressure is a very common condition and causes pressure inside one’s arteries to be higher than normal. The main problem with having high blood pressure, apart from the dangerous health complications, is that it often does not show any obvious symptoms. This means many people go about their day completely unaware of the dangers that lurk inside. The American Heart Association describes high blood pressure as the “silent killer” due to the non obvious signs and because having high blood pressure puts a person at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
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High blood pressure is often associated with few or no symptoms. Many people have it for years without knowing.
However, just because having the condition is often symptomless doesn’t mean it’s harmless.
Left untreated, damage to the arteries, especially those in the kidneys and eyes could ensue.
High blood pressure is a chronic condition and feeling a dullness in this region could mean you have high blood pressure and should start making necessary lifestyle changes.
According to leading health experts, having a dull headache could mean you’re at risk of high blood pressure.
Other lesser known signs of the condition include experiencing nose bleeds or having dizzy spells.
When these symptoms do occur, it’s usually only when blood pressure spikes suddenly and extremely enough to be considered a medical emergency. This is known as a hypersensitive crisis.
Hypersensitive crisis is defined as a blood pressure reading of 180 milligrams of mercury (mmHg) or above.
It’s often caused by skipping medications or secondary high blood pressure.
What causes a person to develop high blood pressure?
The exact cause of why is still unclear, with many researchers constantly looking into cause and effect.
Certain factors, however, could raise a person’s risk of developing it and these include age, having a family history of the condition, being of African or Caribbean origin, eating a diet high in salt, lack of exercise, being overweight, a smoker, drinking in excess and those who suffer with sleep deprivation.
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Other symptoms of high blood pressure
If a person’s blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including fatigue or confusion, vision problems, chest pain, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, blood in urine or having a pounding in the chest, neck or ears.
If a person has any of these symptoms they should speak with their GP immediately.
Untreated hypertension leads to serious disease and the sooner a person makes the relevant changes, the better.
Ways to reduce your blood pressure
Increasing activity and exercising more is one of the best things a person can do to reduce blood pressure.
A 2013 study found that sedentary older adults who participated in aerobic exercise training lowered their blood pressure by an average of 3.9 percent.
Other ways to reduce blood pressure include losing weight, cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates, eating more potassium and less sodium, eating less processed food, reducing stress, eating healthy high-protein foods or taking blood pressure supplements.
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