High blood pressure symptoms are rarely noticeable and can easily be mistaken for less serious health problems. If symptoms do show they can include headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness and even stomach pain. Recognising the early signs is important as it means complications such as a heart attack can be avoided. In serious cases, people with high blood pressure may experience a hypertensive crisis - a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke.
So how can you spot a hypertensive crisis? Six symptoms may show up affecting the eyes.
Visual disturbances is one of the warning signs, according to Superdrug Online Doctor.
There are six symptoms categorised under visual disturbances.
Also known as diplopia, double vision is when you look at one object but see two images. It can affect one or both eyes, according to the NHS.
Partial blindness means you can see light as well as some degrees of what’s around you.
Blurred vision can be a sign of deteriorating eye sight but can also indicate a more serious health condition.
Alongside a hypertensive crisis, blurred vision is listed as a symptom of diabetes, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
Colourblindness is where you struggle to distinguish between certain colours.
Most people who experience colourblindness have difficulty distinguishing between shades of red, orange, yellow, brown and green, according to Specsavers.
This depends on the underlying conditions, but the pain may feel like a scratching sensation when you open and shut your eyelid, says Healthline.
It adds: “A continuous throbbing that isn’t relieved by closing your eye is another type of pain.”
This is when a person can see circles of light around objects.
London Eye Unit says this can quit often occur around street lights.
A hypertensive crisis can fall under two categories - urgent and emergency.
If it’s an urgent hypertensive crisis, this means your blood pressure reading is extremely high, but your doctor suspects no damage has been caused to your organs.
In an emergency hypertensive crisis situation, blood pressure is extremely high but damage has been caused to the organs, and this can be life-threatening.
Other symptoms of a hypertensive crisis to note are:
- Severe chest pain
- Severe headache, accompanied by confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe anxiety
- Shortness of breath
If you experience a severe increase in blood pressure and these symptoms you should seek immediate medical attention.
But hypertensive crisis is usually only caused by serious health conditions, such as forgetting to take your blood pressure medication, stroke, heart attack, heart failure,and kidney failure.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will want to check your blood pressure on a regular basis. But blood pressure can be measured at home.