About 45% of Americans are infected with a silent killer. In fact, it’s not an infection at all, but rather a condition lurking within them potentially preparing to strike.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has earned the moniker the “silent killer,” largely because it is symptom-free. It develops slowly over time, all the while damaging your body as the year’s pass. It can end up leading to a higher risk for stroke or heart attack.
If you’re scared by the prospect of potentially having high blood pressure, you’re not completely out of luck. There might be some subtle signs you’re pressure is rising, and there are, of course, some decision you can make that help bring it back down.
Just because you may be hypertensive now doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a permanent assignment. Weight, diet, smoking, and activity levels are all modifiable factors that can influence blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the force of blood exerted on vessel walls. Healthy veins, low levels of LDL cholesterol, and cardiovascular fitness can all help keep blood pressure in an optimal range.
Although there are no clear-cut symptoms of high blood pressure, there are some symptoms that can appear. Although they are not exclusive to the condition, they may be “inconclusively related.” They include:
- Blood spots in the eyes
- Facial flushing
There is also something known as a “hypertensive crisis.” This is when blood pressure rises rapidly to a very high level – 180/120 or higher – that requires immediate medical attention. According to the American Heart Association, these symptoms include:
- Severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- Severe anxiety
If experiencing a crisis like this, call 911 immediately.
If you get to the point of a hypertensive crisis, it’s likely you’ve had high blood pressure for years and have struggled to manage it. The key to preventing such an episode is undertaking a more active role in blood pressure management.
Don’t let the silent killer sneak up on you. Pay attention to possible symptoms, while taking a look at lifestyle factors to assess your risk.