High blood pressure means that your blood is pressing against your blood vessels harder than it should. Over time, this can damage the vessel walls and allow plaque buildup to form which blocks the arteries and deprives the body of the blood and oxygen it needs.
So, how do you know if you have high blood pressure? Chances are, you won’t have a clue. While having a high BP can lead to serious or fatal outcomes such as heart attacks and stroke, it usually doesn’t present with symptoms which makes people refer to it as “the silent killer.”
Here are a number of things you can look out for to help you understand your own risk of high blood pressure and when you need to seek treatment.
Reading above 130/80
Just because you don’t look or check your blood pressure reading doesn’t mean its not there. It is a routine medical test which you can carry out yourself.
Family history of high BP
You should be most concerned about your parents, grandparents, and siblings—especially if any of them had a heart attack younger than 45 years old.
Your vision is suddenly worse
High blood pressure can affect the blood vessels in your eyes, causing them to swell.
Feeling dizzy suddenly and losing your balance can be an early warning sign of a stroke caused by high blood pressure.
Brain fog or repeated headaches
People with high blood pressure may experience mild, chronic headaches and/or brain fog.
You’re bloated and can’t seem to pass anything out
High blood pressure is often closely linked with diabetes and kidney disease, and women especially may experience bloating and decreased urination as a side effect.