High blood pressure symptoms are rare at the early part of the disease. There are no early warning signs of hypertension. By the time the person starts to experience any signs and symptoms, the person is actually experiencing complications of hypertension.
Hypertension is called the “Silent killer” because it can have subtle or no symptoms, as such, the person does not know that he or she has the disease, until the blood pressure is checked. The major sign of hypertension is a blood pressure measurement that is 140/90 or higher.
Real symptoms of high blood pressure are not common. Sometimes, the person with hypertension may experience headaches, restlessness, light-headedness or changes in vision. Some people experience restlessness, when their blood pressure is high. It is difficult to know whether the restlessness caused the increase in blood pressure or the other way around.
The above symptoms of hypertension may be present when the blood pressure is dangerously high. Sometimes there are still no symptoms of high blood pressure, even at that high level.
As we mentioned above, most people start to have symptoms of high blood pressure only as complications of the disease. By the time someone starts to observe symptoms of high blood pressure, what we are seeing are actually the complications. These complications are: aneurysms, coronary heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and vision changes.
Untreated hypertension may result in complications, many of which are cardiovascular.
The arteries are thick, muscular and flexible, and as such stretch to accommodate moderate changes in blood pressure. Think about it like a balloon with thick walls. When the pressure remains high for too long, it can lose some of its strength and becomes too stretchy in some places and too thick in others. This makes it difficult for the arteries to continue to absorb and accommodate the blood pressure changes. The thickened part can start to attract fat deposits which become atherosclerosis.
Aneurysms are one of the high blood pressure symptoms. They result from the increased pressure against the walls of the arteries. This increased pressure eventually weakens the walls of the arteries resulting in aneurysm. This happens when parts of the arteries become overstretched, like overstretched balloon. They become distended and bulge. The bulged part is very weak and can rupture by further increase in blood pressure. That bulge that is formed in the artery is what is called aneurysm. The part of the artery that is aneurysm has lost so much strength and can easily pop and spill the blood out of the arteries. When this happens in the brain, the blood spills out into the brain and causes stroke with bleeding to the brain. This is a very serious stroke. This stroke is different from the one that is caused by the narrowing of the artery and clot.
Aneurysms can form in the arteries that supply different parts of the body.
Aortic aneurysm is the bulge on the main artery that supplies blood from the heart to the body.
Brain aneurysm is the bulge in the artery that supplies blood to the brain. When this ruptures, it causes blood to pill in the brain and oxygen and nutrients cannot reach the brain and that is stroke.
Aneurysms can also occur in the arteries that supply the intestine and the spleen.
Another one of the high blood pressure symptoms is coronary heart disease.This is one of the symptoms of high blood pressure that can happen when the disease is advanced. The blood pressure changes cause certain parts of the artery to thicken and become narrow. These narrow and thick parts of the arteries can cause fat deposits or atherosclerosis to form.
Narrowing and thickening of the arteries, combined with high blood pressure can increase the work of the heart and cause heart failure. When the work of pumping blood is increased by narrowing and thickening of the arteries and the high blood pressure, the heart starts to work extra hard. The heart can then enlarge and weaken. When this progresses, it becomes too difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body. This is heart failure. Heart failure is one of the advanced high blood pressure symptoms. Heart failure can result from high blood pressure. This is because the pressure in the blood vessels is high and the heart has to work really hard to pump blood against that high pressure. This results in the heart muscle getting large and weak, and unable to pump enough blood to supply the body.
Heart attack can also happen as one of the high blood pressure symptoms. When the narrowed blood vessel are those that supply the heart.
Some of the arteries that supply the heart are small arteries, and when they become narrowed by thickening and fat deposit, it becomes easy for blood supply to the heart to be cut off. When the heart muscles can no longer get enough blood to supply it with oxygen, it starts to die and this is heart attack, also called myocardial infarction.
Stroke is a symptom of high blood pressure that is also a complication. Narrowed part of the blood vessels can easily be blocked, especially if a clot is traveling in blood and cannot pass through. The lodged clot now stops blood from flowing through the artery into the brain to supply it. This then causes the brain cells to be deprived of oxygen and other nutrients and may start to die. The part of the brain being deprived of oxygen from blood starts to lose function and we can observe weakness in all of the body parts being controlled by that part of the brain. Depending on how much the brain is affected, stroke can result in death. Another cause of stroke is rupture of aneurism in the artery that supplies blood to the brain, as mention above. Stroke is also called Cerebral Vascular accident or CVA.
Kidney failure is one of the high blood pressure symptoms. High blood pressure causes arteries that supply nutrients to the kidney become narrow and unable to supply the kidney with oxygen and nutrients. This results in tissue death and kidney failure.
Blindness can result as a high blood pressure symptom. When blood vessels supplying the eye narrow or even burst and cause changes in vision that can include blindness
Amputation of the leg can happen when the arteries supplying the legs are blocked.
If you have high blood pressure, it is important to check your blood pressure regularly. This helps to take necessary steps to prevent and treat the disease before you notice any blood pressure symptoms.
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