Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious condition. If your blood pressure measures at 140/90, it indicates hypertension. The condition can contribute to heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss and other life-threatening disorders. Hypertension develops when the force of blood as it flows through your arteries rises and remains at that elevated level. About 65 million Americans have high blood pressure.
Learning more about hypertension can help you determine if you have it or are at risk. Dr. Steven Havas, of the University of Maryland Medical School states that “90 percent of Americans will ultimately develop hypertension unless preventive actions are taken.”
Potential symptoms. Nicknamed the “silent killer,” hypertension typically produces no symptoms. However, there are a few things to watch for, including dull headaches or the development of buzzing in your ears. Hypertension can affect your memory and cognitive functions as well. If you experience an irregular heartbeat or significant changes in your vision, hypertension may be the culprit and you should seek medical attention.
Dangerous symptoms. Because hypertension usually develops without any symptoms, it’s a red flag when certain symptoms actually present. If you begin to experience dizziness and frequent nosebleeds, see your doctor. These may be symptoms of life-threatening hypertension called malignant hypertension. Other symptoms of malignant hypertension include confusion, drowsiness, headache, loss of vision, nausea, and respiratory distress or difficulty breathing, reports the New York Times. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, as your hypertension can become life-threatening.
As with any potentially life-threatening medical condition, consult a trusted medical professional if you suspect you have developed symptoms of hypertension.