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Physical Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

written by: angiem1981 • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 1/31/2010

Although it is not common, physical symptoms of high blood pressure may be common in some individuals. If and when these symptoms are present, immediate medical attention should be sought.

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    High blood pressure can have devastating affects. If left unchecked, the individual can suffer from stroke, permanent damage to blood vessels, and aneurysm. When the blood pressure is too high, death can also result. Although considered a silent killer, there may be physical symptoms of high blood pressure present before a life changing medical emergency takes place.

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    What Are The Physical Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

    When blood pressure becomes dangerously high or at the onset of such a condition, there may be several physical signs and symptoms present. These may include dizziness, flushing of the face, headache, and nose bleed. At the onset of such a condition, these symptoms may pass fairly quickly and be dismissed. However, when blood pressure increases to dangerous and possibly lethal numbers, these signs may also be present. This is the exception though and these things may not occur until the individual is on the brink of a severe complication such as a stroke. Many patients suffering from uncontrolled blood pressure may not have any of these signs or symptoms.

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    Risk Factors

    Some individuals are at a much greater risk than others for developing high blood pressure. Smokers, those considered overweight (especially those that are considered obese), individuals prone to stress, older persons, and African Americans are considered at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure. Those with a family history of high blood pressure, suffer from certain other conditions, have high sodium diets, or that drink too much alcohol also have an increased risk. Certain medications can also be responsible for elevating blood pressure. As with other individuals, physical symptoms of high blood pressure may not be present. Those that lack these risk factors should not assume that high blood pressure isn't or won't be a problem for them. High blood pressure affects individuals of all ages and races, regardless of sex.

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    Prevention and Treatment

    Relying on the physical signs and symptoms of high blood pressure alone is not only an unhealthy practice, but can prove to be lethal. The best way to avoid the complications that can accompany this condition is through prevention and treatment. Eating healthy, cutting back on sodium, exercising regularly, and having blood pressure monitored on a routine basis can help the patient keep his or her blood pressure in check. The American Heart Association recommends that the average person should have there blood pressure checked by qualified healthcare staff at least once every two years. Those with "borderline" high blood pressure, that are deemed high risk, or have other health problems should have blood pressure monitored more often.

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    References

    Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. 2010. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4473

    High Blood Pressure. Cedars-Senai. 2008. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.csmc.edu/5366.html.

    High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). Mayo Clinic. 7, August 2008. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/DS00100/DSECTION=symptoms.