Hypertension is called the silent killer because it has no symptoms. Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. You may feel very well and yet have very high blood pressure. High blood pressure becomes a problem when it is chronically elevated for years. Over the years, it causes many problems. Some of them are:
Heart attacks and heart failure: Hypertension causes a problem because the heart must work harder to pump blood against a higher pressure. This leads to the walls of the heart enlarging and needing more oxygen. Sometimes, without enough oxygen, the walls simply become weak and thin. Sometimes your only symptom is getting a little more tired than usual when you climb stairs or exercize.
Strokes: High blood pressure is also the number one modifiable risk factor for strokes. This means that if you treat your hypertension, you really reduce your risk of stroke.
Ruptured aneurysms: High blood pressure can make aneurysms (a weak and dilated artery) more likely to rupture. Aneurysms may be more likely to develop with high blood pressure but they also can develop without high blood pressure.
It is important to get your blood pressure checked at least once a year starting as early as a young adult. It is possible to have high blood pressure even as a child. If your blood pressure is high in the doctor's office, it should not be dismissed as white coat syndrome. It should be rechecked. If it is still high and you think it is because you are nervous at the doctor's office, you should talk to you doctor about checking your blood pressure at home.
Even slightly high blood pressure should be taken seriously. Not all people with high blood pressure should be treated with medications. Treating high blood pressure may be as simple as changing your diet, reducing salt intake, and exercising. If you smoke, although it is difficult and really takes a commitment, quitting will definitely help reduce your risks. If you are overweight and are able to lose even a small amount of weight, this may reduce your blood pressure.