High blood pressure: Doctor explains benefits of hibiscus tea
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High blood pressure is diagnosed when the force of blood against the arteries is constantly too high. This can become deadly if left untreated, as it can increase the risk of a vessel rupture, or prompt the formation of a blood clot. In the advanced stages, vision problems could be warning that your blood pressure needs treatment.
WebMD states: “One of the most dangerous things about hypertension – or high blood pressure – is that you may not know you have it.
“In fact, nearly one-third of people who have high blood pressure don’t know.”
But the health body states that once the condition becomes severe, symptoms may emerge.
These may include vision problems, which result from damage to the delicate blood vessels supplying blood to the eyes.
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This specifically damages the retina, the area in the back of the eye where image focuses.
The condition, which is recognised as hypertensive retinopathy, can become serious if left untreated.
But unfortunately, it is usually in the advanced stages of the condition that symptoms appear.
WebMD adds: “A person typically won’t experience symptoms of mild to moderate hypertensive retinopathy; it is usually discovered during a routine eye exam.
“Symptoms of more severe and accelerated hypertension might include headaches and vision problems.”
Double vision, blurred vision, or dim vision are also likely to occur as the blood vessels deteriorate.
But as blood flow to the eye becomes progressively hampered, a complete loss of sight may occur.
Symptoms that appear suddenly, such as bleeding in the eye, are considered a medical emergency and warrant swift treatment.
Both vision loss and bleeding in the eye usually occur when blood flow becomes blocked, which damages the optic nerve.
How to manage blood pressure
Keeping abreast of a blood pressure reading is key to avoiding health complications further down the line, and this can be done with a visit to your GP.
When a blood pressure reading is slightly elevated, this can be managed with the help of certain lifestyle adjustments.
Diets that emphasise fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grain and nuts are also widely encouraged.
Managing weight is important too, as carrying excess fat increases blood pressure.
Not only is exercise good for weight loss but studies show it can also lower a blood pressure reading by 10 points.
A reduction as significant as that can help prevent the onset of high blood pressure or let you reduce the dosage of your medication.
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