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Although hypertension is a common condition among adults, it is still a very serious diagnosis. High blood pressure can have a lasting effect on your health if left untreated. Those who have hypertension are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other major illnesses. Luckily, it is very easy to treat and manage. If you work closely with your doctor to catch any signs of high blood pressure, you can develop a plan to maintain it. What are some of the signs and symptoms you should watch for in order to find out if you suffer from hypertension?

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Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be caused by many things, and are most often a result of dry nasal passages. Internal and external trauma, like an injury or inserting something into the nose, can lead to nosebleeds as well. However, nosebleeds can also be a sign of hypertension. If you find that you have regular nosebleeds that can't be explained by environmental factors like dry air or cold weather, you should talk to your doctor to determine a cause. If your nosebleeds are accompanied by other hypertension symptoms, you may be having a hypertensive crisis and should seek medical care.

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Headache

Another common symptom that can be a sign of hypertension is a pulsing headache. If you experience a headache in addition to your nosebleed, this could be a sign of a hypertensive crisis. This headache may feel like a migraine, but will not react to migraine treatments or pain medication. It will, however, be sensitive to light and smells, cause visual changes, and may get worse when you move or change positions. While degrees of pain and specific symptoms vary, it will typically feel as though you can hear your pulse. This is due to the increase in pressure caused by the hypertension.

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Chest Pain

If you are experiencing chest pain, you should always seek immediate medical attention. While this is a symptom of hypertension, it typically means your blood pressure is so high that you are at very high risk for a heart attack. Chest pain does not usually occur in milder cases of hypertension, so this is a sign that you should see a doctor right away. This is especially true if you experience this symptom in conjunction with any other symptoms of hypertension. Chest pain caused by hypertension may feel sharp or pulsing, and should be treated as an emergency.

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Fatigue

Like many signs of hypertension, fatigue can also be a symptom of many other conditions or lifestyle factors. However, if combined with other symptoms, it could signal hypertension. If you feel tired but getting more rest doesn't seem to help, or you are chronically tired, you should talk to your doctor. Having untreated high blood pressure can strain your heart, which in turn can impact your brain's ability function. If you are experiencing this sign of hypertension, you may feel foggy or confused, and have low energy while performing daily activities. This is because your brain must work harder to operate normally when your heart is under stress.

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Eye Problems

One sign of long-term hypertension is damaged blood vessels within the eyes. This may present itself in a variety of ways, from blurry or distorted vision to vision loss over time. However, it can also cause blood vessel damage that is more evident. This includes broken blood vessels that appear as red dots within the visible part of eye. If you have not experienced any recent eye trauma but have an unexplained blood sport in your eye, it may be a sign that a blood vessel has burst due to hypertension. To protect your vision, see an optometrist if you notice this symptom.

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Difficulty Sleeping

Patients who suffer from hypertension may notice that they have trouble sleeping or feel confused and tired no matter how long they sleep for. This is because hypertension can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, a breathing condition that causes snoring, keeps you from getting a good night's rest by interrupting your sleep cycle. Because not getting a proper amount of sleep can increase blood pressure levels, this tends to create a worsening cycle. If you are having trouble sleeping, you should consult a physician to find out if it may be related to high blood pressure.

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Sexual Dysfunction

Although sexual dysfunction is common in older adults, it can also be a sign of hypertension. For both men and women, healthy blood flow is needed in order to maintain proper sexual function. Having high blood pressure can damage your arteries and blood vessels over time. One of the side effects of this is decreased blood flow, which can lead to sexual dysfunction. Although not everyone with high blood pressure may experience this, it is more likely to occur in those who suffer from hypertension compared to healthy adults. Treating your high blood pressure can reduce this issue and benefit your relationship.

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Pounding Sensation in Upper Body

If you feel a dull pounding or throbbing sensation in your chest, neck, head or ears, it may be a sign of increasing hypertension. High blood pressure can cause this feeling, which is typically not a sharp, painful sensation in the way that other chest pain is. This pulsation will be more pronounced during a hypertensive crisis, so if you feel this, it is probably a good idea to seek medical care. Do not ignore unexplained sensations or pain in the chest area, which can indicate a broad range of cardiovascular issues, including a heart attack.

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Flushed Face

Someone with chronic, untreated high blood pressure or who is experiencing a hypertensive crisis will often experience a flushed face. This is because blood vessels dilate during episodes of high blood pressure. Facial skin is very thin, which means the blood vessels are closer to the surface. This can make the face redder than other areas, although redness in the neck or chest is possible. If you or a loved one experienced unexplained flushing or sweating in combination with any other symptoms, it could be a serious medical issue. If hypertension is left untreated, it can exacerbate conditions like rosacea, which occurs is when facial blood vessels are chronically inflamed.

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Nothing

Most people with hypertension will not experience any signs or symptoms. That's why it's important to check your blood pressure regularly, and monitor for any changes. Many pharmacies and stores offer these machines, although they are not always accurate. If possible, you should visit your doctor or local health clinic often in order to make sure you are not experiencing any unnoticed changes. By the time you experience some of the more obvious signs and symptoms, you may already be going through a serious issue. Regular readings are especially important for those who are at high risk for developing hypertension, like those who smoke or are overweight.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.