Do you know what the symptoms of high blood pressure are? If you think you do, chances are you are probably wrong, but now that you’re here I will set the record straight and debunk and eliminate the myths you may have heard about the symptoms of high blood pressure.
One of the most common misconceptions about high blood pressure symptoms is that the face becomes flushed. The truth is that facial flushing does occur due to temporary elevated blood pressure, but it is not one of the high blood pressure symptoms. What’s the difference? Temporary elevated blood pressure can be triggered by exercise, drinking alcohol, hot water or a stressor, all things that temporarily raise your blood pressure. A red, burning face can also be caused by cold weather, spicy food, exposure to the sun and embarrassment. So, as you can see, high blood pressure symptoms do not include a flushed face. And for the times that elevated blood pressure causes facial flushing, there are too many other factors which contribute that make this symptom a non-factor.
It’s often thought that headaches are part of high blood pressure symptoms. Once again, they aren’t. This misconception about high blood pressure symptoms was widely spread by the medical field well into the 1900’s.
But now we know that in fact, the opposite is true. According to a study published in the popular medical journal Neurology, higher systolic blood pressure actually decreases your chance of developing headaches by 40% when compared to a person with normal blood pressure. Further, it was found that those with a higher pulse pressure (found by subtracting your diastolic reading from your systolic reading, or in layman’s terms, the bottom number from the top number), has up to 50% less headaches! This is thought to be due in part to the pulse pressure stiffening the blood vessels which in turn disrupt nerve endings, which then sedate the pain a headache would cause.
The only thing that’s clear is that headaches, or the lack thereof, cannot be considered part of high blood pressure symptoms.
This is another common misconception about high blood pressure symptoms. This is because nosebleeds are often caused by dry air as well as allergies, colds, blowing your nose too hard or medications. But in regard to high blood pressure symptoms, over 80% of patients in hospitals treated for high blood pressure report no sign of nosebleeds, thus debunking it a common symptom of high blood pressure.
Because dizziness is a common side effect of high blood pressure medications, it is often thought of as part of the high blood pressure symptoms group. In fact, it is not. What it is, though, is a warning sign for a stroke, something which high blood pressure is a leading cause of.
The truth is there are very few cases of high blood pressure symptoms that can reliably indicate high blood pressure. Most people with high blood pressure will never have any symptoms, this is why it is know as the 'silent killer'. That said, if you are repeatedly experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should visit your doctor for a check up to rule out any other serious illness.
The fact is - checking your blood pressure at the doctor’s or on your own via a home blood pressure monitor is the only reliable way to know if you have high blood pressure.
Note: Sometimes routine eye examinations at the opticians can indicate high blood pressure, this is due to damage to the blood vessels in the eyes which can be cause by high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.