Hypertension or High Blood Pressure (HBP) is a condition that affects around 75 million people in the US and can be very deadly if left unattended so early detection and control is key. But many people may be confused as to when to see a doctor if they believe they have hypertension. They wonder, what are the signs and symptoms they should be looking for before they should begin to worry.
The truth is, HBP is a largely asymptomatic disorder. In most cases, people are not alerted to their hypertensive status until it is too late because they are relying on “well-known” signs and symptoms to occur in their lives.
Because most symptoms, if any, do not begin to present themselves until your blood pressure has reached a severe or life-threatening stage, it is important to create a routine of checking your blood pressure readings with your doctor.
Seeing your doctor regularly is a great way to keep track of your blood pressure and ensure that if you are on the verge of hypertension, it is detected early and treated appropriately.
People should visit their doctor at least every two years after their 18th birthday, and at least once a year after their 40th. If you know that you’re at high risk for hypertension and under 40, then you should visit the doctor once a year as well to be safe.
If you are not able to regularly see a doctor, there are many free resources for blood pressure readings such as screenings at community gatherings and health fairs.
Also, there are a number of public blood pressure machines popping up in local pharmacies all over the country, where you will be able to gather helpful information and check your own readings yourself.
If you are not checking your blood pressure routinely, readings may soar to dangerously high levels leading to hypertensive crisis.
Those in hypertensive crisis have been known to show those telltale signs of HBP such as severe headaches, severe anxiety, shortness of breath, and nosebleeds, but by the time these symptoms show, emergency medical treatment is usually needed.
There are also a variety of symptoms that may be indirectly related to HBP, but are not necessarily caused by it such as facial flushing, dizziness, and blood spots in the eyes so if you are experiencing any of these signs, still consult your doctor as they may be occurring for a different reason.
Don’t be fooled by common misconceptions of hypertension signs and symptoms. See your doctor regularly to check your numbers and they’ll let you know if you need to worry. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.