Hearing that someone has high blood pressure has become so common in our country, most people know someone who has experienced it. And, while it may not sound as frightening as other conditions — such as cancer — it could still lead to life-threatening issues.
Specifically, blood pressure (BP) refers to the strain caused by the blood on the walls of the veins as it is pumped through the body. A healthy BP is between 90/60 and 120/80. The number on the top is known as systolic pressure and refers to the pressure against the blood vessel walls during heartbeats. The bottom number is known as diastolic pressure and refers to the strain of the blood against your blood vessel walls between beats. Having high blood pressure puts extra stress on the heart, veins, and arteries. If it continues for an extended period of time, it could result in vision loss, kidney disease, chest pain, stroke, or heart attack.
What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?
One of the things that make high blood pressure so dangerous is that many people won’t experience symptoms for years — which is why the condition is also known as the silent killer. However, some individuals do notice unusual symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeats
- Blurry vision
If you or a loved one have been experiencing such symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, as they could be signs of a heart attack. If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, it’s always good practice to monitor your BP during annual checkups. Doing so will allow your medical provider to come up with lifestyle choices that can help you maintain it at a healthy range.