High blood pressure symptoms are very rarely noticeable, but if they do show they can be mistaken for symptoms of less serious health problems.
Symptoms that can occur include shortness of breath dizziness and stomach pain.
Recognising symptoms as early on as possible can help you avoid complications developing such as a heart attack.
In more serious cases where high blood pressure is left untreated, a patient may experience a hypertensive crisis, which is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke happening.
But a hypertensive crisis can fall into two categories. These are urgent and emergency.
In the case of an urgent hypertensive crisis, blood pressure is extremely high, but a doctor suspects there has been no damage caused to your organs.
If hypertensive crisis is an emergency, blood pressure is extremely high but damage has been caused to the organs. If this happens, there can be life-threatening consequences.
There are seven symptoms to look out for if a hypertensive crisis is life-threatening, according to Mayo Clinic.
- Severe chest pain
- Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe anxiety
- Shortness of breath
If you experience a severe increase in blood pressure and these symptoms you should seek immediate medical attention.
But hypertensive crisis is usually only caused by serious health conditions, such as forgetting to take your blood pressure medication, stroke, heart attack, heart failure,and kidney failure.
So how often should you check to find out if you have high blood pressure?
Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan, said if you haven’t had your blood pressure checked in the last year, make this a priority.
She explained: “If the reading is below 130/80 mmHg, then going forward have your blood pressure checked at least once every 5 years as it tends to creep up with age.
“If your BP is on the high side of normal (130/85mmHg to 139/89 mmHg) or if you are aged 40 or over, it’s best to have an annual check. If your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher, see your doctor for advice on hypertension.”
If you have hypertension, check your blood pressure as often as your doctor tells you to, said Dr Brewer.
She added: “Guidelines suggest your doctor reviews you very 3 to 4 months until your blood pressure is well controlled. Once your blood pressure is stable on medication, you may be reviewed less often, every 6 months or annually.
“It’s a good idea to check your blood pressure with a home monitor so you can ensure it isn’t creeping up or affected by changes in diet, lifestyle and stress.”
If you have hypertension, your doctor will want to check your blood pressure on a regular basis. But blood pressure can be measured at home.