High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can wreak havoc on your health without your awareness. You might feel fit and energetic while high blood pressure slowly injures your arteries and damages your cardiovascular system. This insidious presence is why high blood pressure has earned the nickname “the silent killer”. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Only about a quarter (24%) of Americans with high blood pressure have their blood pressure under control.
- Hypertension was the cause of death for almost half a million people in the US in 2018.
Fortunately, if you know what signs to be on the lookout for, you can spot high blood pressure and take measures to control it.
What Is Blood Pressure?
Your cardiovascular system runs on a pump (your heart) and pipes (your arteries and veins). Blood pressure is calculated by checking how much pressure your heart uses to push blood throughout your body. In some cases, blood pressure can rise temporarily due to exertion from exercise. Other times, stress can trigger high blood pressure.
By raising your blood pressure for short periods during stress or exercise, the body can get a boost of oxygen and nutrients much more quickly. Unfortunately, the heart can’t sustain a constant state of stress or anxiety, and an unhealthy lifestyle slowly plugs up the arteries with fatty deposits. These factors make the arteries less flexible, and the heart has to pump even harder to get the blood flowing throughout the body, creating a dangerous situation.
High blood pressure, the “silent killer”, is hard to spot. Fortunately, there are a few signs you can be on the lookout for, including:
8. Vision Problems
High blood pressure injures blood vessels, which include the blood vessels in the eyes. Vision problems due to hypertension, which is called hypertensive retinopathy, may come in the form of blurry, double, or dim vision. High blood pressure, if left untreated, can even cause vision loss.