World Hypertension Day 2022: High blood pressure is called the silent killer, not without reason. Most of the time, there are no noticeable signs of high blood pressure, and even if you do have some symptoms, you may not immediately act on it as routine stress, work stress, or exertion. However, ignoring blood pressure issues can be fatal and in the worst cases can cause a heart attack, heart failure, aneurysm, stroke, memory problems, or dementia. Regular blood pressure monitoring is key to avoiding the risk of serious disease. (Also read: Blood pressure basics: How to measure blood pressure at home, ideal range, high blood pressure risks)
About 1.13 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, and this condition is more common in men than in women. However, only 1 in 5 people have control of it while others are still at risk of developing complications from it. Cases of hypertension have seen a sharp rise worldwide, and while earlier it was common in older age groups, we can now see many new cases of young people with hypertension.
“We should not ignore some of the common symptoms of high blood pressure such as severe headache, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, especially shortness of breath on exertion, chest discomfort, and easy fatigue. High blood pressure can affect your health and cause serious complications if it is.” “It is left untreated,” says Dr. Rajesh Bodhiraja, Associate Director – Internal Medicine, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad.
Here are some of the warning symptoms of high blood pressure that you should never ignore according to Dr. Narayan Jadkar, Cardiologist, Zain Multispeciality Hospital.
1. Nosebleeds: Nosebleeds are not only caused by sinusitis or constantly blowing the nose but even when the blood pressure is high. If you are someone who has experienced nosebleeds, just report it to your doctor.
2. Headache: If you have a throbbing headache all the time, your blood pressure may rise. Most people with high blood pressure may have a headache. This annoying headache will steal your peace of mind. So, be vigilant and seek treatment in time.
“Patients with severe headaches, especially in the occipital region (the back of the skull) are the ones who should have their blood pressure checked immediately,” says Dr. Hani Savla, Consultant Internal Medicine, Wockhardt Hospital.
3. Fatigue: Are you unable to do your office work or house chores easily, this could be due to high blood pressure. Feeling tired even after doing nothing? Reach out to your treating physician for further evaluation.
4. Shortness of breath: One may also have difficulty breathing when their blood pressure is high. This is a common symptom of high blood pressure.
5. Blurred vision: Untreated high blood pressure can alter one’s vision. Hence, one will have vision problems. His or her vision will be blurred.
“Another sign of high blood pressure is blurred vision, black spots in the field of vision, or sudden complete loss of vision, which are symptoms that should be taken seriously,” Dr. Savla says.
6. Chest pain: Seen when blood pressure is high. Try to take immediate treatment after you notice these symptoms. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to serious complications later in life.
Can high blood pressure get you to the intensive care unit?
“High blood pressure can have a disastrous effect on the heart causing hardening and enlargement of the heart’s arteries, resulting in reduced blood flow to the heart, and in the worst cases, it can even cause a heart attack along with other life-threatening conditions because it affects other organs.” ‘ says Dr. Bothraja.
“Patients with high blood pressure may also develop chest pain and insomnia and some may develop a myocardial infarction, that is, a heart attack as a result of prolonged, uncontrolled high blood pressure. There is a serious condition called hypertensive heart failure which may present as low blood pressure. Oxygen levels, difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath (due to the lungs filling with water) as well as swelling in the legs and chest pain, such patients if not treated in time, will end up in the intensive care unit.They may also require urgent admission to the unit Intensive care. Hence it is better to have regular medical examinations, timely diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible,” says Dr. Savla.
BP . management
If you have high blood pressure, there is a lot you can do on a daily basis to keep it under control.
You can start with a healthy diet followed by maintaining a healthy weight, increasing your activity, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.
Plus, tweaking your other daily habits can go a long way to helping keep your readings in check.