Hypertension is often called as the silent killer and rightly so because elevated blood pressure increases the load on the heart. According to American Heart Association, 1 in 6 people suffer from increased blood pressure and are unaware of it.
What are the symptoms of Hypertension or Elevated Blood Pressure?
- Hypertensive patients often do not have symptoms that will alert them to their condition.
- Headache and dizziness, may be present in a few patients
- An extremely elevated Blood pressure can be associated with warning symptoms and signs such as:
- Moderate to Severe headache, pulsating in nature, often at the back of the head, which is not relieved by analgesics.
- Fatigue and Tiredness
- Impaired vision
- Chest pain, especially at exertion
- Difficulty in breathing
- Irregular and loud beating of heart
- Pounding in the chest
How high is too high?
Over years, various studies have been carried out to identify what should be your optimal systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
When should I see a doctor?
It is important to recognize the warning signs and act if any of the symptoms listed above appear. However, often it is too late by the time the warning signs appear and the persistent increase in Blood Pressure can damage kidneys, heart, eyes and brain.
However, it is even more important to identify if you are at risk for Hypertension.
Common Risk Factors are:
- Age: The older you are, the higher the chance of developing hypertension. Though, sadly age is no longer a bar in today’s era and lifestyle.
- Gender: Young males are more prone to develop elevated pressure till the age of 45. Post 60, women are at a higher risk.
- Family history: Do you have a parent, sibling or close relative who has high Blood Pressure? In that case, there’s definitely a chance that you can get it too!
- Sedentary lifestyle: Do you get enough physical exercise?
- Unhealthy diet: Do you eat a high-carbohydrate, high-sodium diet? Do you often skip meals or binge?
- Obesity: Increased Body Mass Index (BMI) is an independent risk factor to develop Hypertension.
- Lifestyle: Are you often stressed? Do you have an irregular sleep pattern?
- Alcohol or Smoking: Do you regularly engage in smoking or drinking? This can contribute to damaged arteries.
If you have measured your Blood pressure recently and are looking to evaluate how the reading can impact your health, American Health Association has developed an excellent tool that will create a risk report for you and identify lifestyle changes that can lower your health risks. For the free calculator, visit: http://tools.bigbeelabs.com/aha/tools/hbp/
If detected early and kept in control, hypertension and its complications are easily manageable and patients can live a normal, symptom-free life. For more heart related surgeries visit here