High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can seem innocuous at first because the force of blood pushing against your artery walls takes time to have ruinous effects. “Generally speaking, patients with hypertension do not have symptoms until the blood pressure is dangerously high,” explained Doctor Stuart Sanders, GP at The London General Practice to Express.co.uk. However, the condition can take a sinister turn if target organs are damaged.
Target organs are the biological organs most adversely affected by exposure to a chemical substance, such as the heart.
According to Doctor Stuart, if high blood pressure starts to damage the brain, you may experience a headache and/or problems with your vision.
You may also experience a feeling of tightness in the head, he warned.
“The patient should seek medical advice and if there are symptoms related to the brain or signs of a stroke with any of the above plus nausea or vomiting, advised Doctor Stuart.
What’s more, the heart can fall prey to extremely high blood pressure.
“Hypertension can manifest as an acute heart attack, pain in the chest, neck and/or left arm,” warned Doctor Stuart.
He added: “Heart failure can also occur, but this is usually slow in progressing.”
Signs of heart failure include breathlessness, swollen legs and other signs which would be detected by a doctor, noted Doctor Stuart.
“The bottom line is that we are generally unaware that our blood pressure is high, until it affects other bodily organs,” noted.
It is therefore paramount to get a routine blood test in order to pick up high blood pressure.
“All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years,” explains the NHS.
As the health body points out, “getting this done is easy and could save your life”.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At your GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of your NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces.
You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.
“Like 24-hour or ambulatory monitoring, this can give a better reflection of your blood pressure,” explained the NHS.
“It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term.”