Narrow blood vessels (also known as arteries) cause more resistance against blood flow. The narrower your arteries, the more resistance there will be, and that causes your blood pressure to rise.
Hypertension typically develops over the course of a few years. At first, it’s hard to notice any symptoms at all. But even without the presence of symptoms, hypertension can cause damage to blood vessels and organs – namely the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys. That’s why it’s important to catch hypertension early with regular blood pressure readings. If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may continue to check it over the course of a few weeks to see if it stays elevated or drops back to normal levels.
Treatment for hypertension includes prescription medication and lifestyle changes. If hypertension goes untreated, it could lead to health issues like heart attack and stroke.
Many people don’t experience symptoms of hypertension for years or even decades – not until the symptoms become severe enough to be obvious. But even then, those symptoms might be attributed to other conditions.
Severe hypertension does not usually cause nosebleeds or headaches, contrary to popular belief, unless someone is in hypertensive crisis.
The best way to find out if you have hypertension is through regular blood pressure readings, and most doctors administer such tests at every appointment.
If you are at risk for hypertension, there are steps that you can take in order to lower your risk for contracting the condition. These steps include: