High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a very common condition. Modern lifestyles around the world help to increase the levels of stress, obesity and sedentarism, which are major causes of high blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is shown using systolic (pressure when your heart beats) and diastolic (pressure between heart beats) figures, and is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
- Normal: 120 / 80 mmHg or lower
- At risk (pre-hypertension): 120–139 / 80–89 mmHg
- High risk: 140 / 90 mmHg or higher
It’s possible to have high blood pressure without even knowing it, because of a lack of periodic medical checkups and absence of symptoms. However, people who do experience high blood pressure symptoms usually have one or more of the following:
1. Irregular heartbeat
An irregular heartbeat, or commonly referred to as palpitations, can be defined as the feeling that the heart is beating faster than usual. The patient usually says that their heart is pounding or racing, which can also produce the sensation that it is “skipping” some beats.
Irregular heartbeats are more common when the blood pressure is higher than 140/90mmHg because the heart must work harder and faster to push the blood into the blood vessels and maintain a proper blood supply to the entire body tissues.
2. Pounding in the neck or ears
Many patients with chronic hypertension can refer a constant pounding in the neck or ears. This symptom usually indicates that blood pressure is higher than usual. This pounding is caused by the increased force that the heart must perform to pump the blood through the arteries, so the patient feels the resistance that the blood vessels offer to the blood flow.
More symptoms on next page…