Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a silent killer which affects millions of people annually. It is a severe illness due to the difficulty in detecting it at the early stages. If the condition is found early, your doctor can provide you with some lifestyle changes and may put you on medication for high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force on the walls of the arteries during blood circulation. Therefore, if the pressure goes higher than average, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood. Apart from damaging the walls of the arteries, high blood pressure increases your chances of having other complications like stroke, heart disease, and kidney problems. Here are five signs of chronic hypertension.
1. Loss of Vision
When the heart needs to exert additional effort in pumping blood, it strains the vital organs. Eyes are usually at risk due to the delicate vessels that supply blood to the retina. The tiny vessels are easily damaged in case of a spike in the blood pressure. The result could be bleeding eyes, blurred vision, and sometimes, total loss of sight. In some cases, fluid builds up under the retina due to a surge in blood pressure leading to eye impairment. Apart from the retina, hypertension can lead to damage of the optic nerve. The nerve damage occurs if there is inadequate blood supply, which kills the nerve cells present in the eyes. The result could be bleeding and loss of sight.
2. Irregular Heartbeat
The heart is a pumping mechanism that supplies blood throughout the body through the blood vessels, and it does have systems to accommodate acute changes in blood pressure. However, those systems can lead to dangerous health risks like stroke and heart failure. Hypertension causes difficulty of blood flow in the vessels. Therefore, the heart has to pump harder to ensure blood reaches vital organs. The increased stress results in the release of calcium to strengthen the heart. However, due to the instability of the calcium control system, a person will experience irregular and erratic heartbeats. If your pulse is abnormal, you should seek medical assistance immediately because it could be the initial signs of heart failure or stroke.
3. Shortness of Breath
Do you have to catch your breath from time to time even when you are not doing a physically intensive activity? If this sounds familiar, it is an indicator that your body is unable to supply enough oxygen to your heart. High blood pressure or pulmonary hypertension may damage the blood vessels connecting the lungs to the heart. Hypertension blocks arteries in the lungs preventing the fresh supply of oxygen. Therefore, if your heart is not getting enough oxygen from the lungs, it is unable to distribute it to the rest of the body. Low oxygen in the blood can lead to breathing difficulties after only mild activity.
4. Memory Loss
Do you sometimes forget what you ate for dinner last night? While it is a common occurrence for older people, sometimes it is a sign of a bigger problem. The damage to the blood vessels due to hypertension sometimes causes tissue build-up, which flows with the blood and blocks the smaller vessels. Tissue blockages result in severe problems if they affect the supply of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. If your brain cells fail to get sufficient oxygen, the cells could die, leading to loss of memory. Therefore, if you experience changes in your level of consciousness, like confusion or drowsiness, you may need urgent medical attention.
5. Pounding in the Neck, Chest, and Ears
A pulsing sensation in your chest is normal after rigorous physical activity. However, if you experience rapid pounding in your ears and neck without taking part in intense exercise, you need to see a doctor. It could be a sign of a spike in your blood pressure. If you usually have anxiety, take your medication, or try a relaxing activity to see if the pounding stops.
Don’t wait for the symptoms of hypertension because they could be fatal. Instead, focus on preventing the disease by watching your diet and avoiding alcohol. Regular blood pressure check-ups will also help you to identify the problem early and get assistance before it becomes chronic.
Thank you for reading.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post*