Known as the ‘silent killer’, high blood pressure could start off as something minor but if left untreated can cause serious health problems. Half of people with high blood pressure are not diagnosed or not receiving any treatment for the condition. With high blood pressure costing the NHS over £2.1 billion every year, knowing about the condition, symptoms and treatment could save a life. There is one unusual symptom in the nose that can indicate someone has high blood pressure.
Bleeding from the nose (epistaxis) is a symptom of high blood pressure and could be caused by trauma or sinus infections.
The inside of the nose is covered with moist tissue that has a rich supply of blood vessels near the surface. When the tissue is damaged or injured, these blood vessels tend to bleed.
Nose bleeds are more common in children and the elderly whose blood may take longer to clot. Severe nose bleeds relate to health problems such as high blood pressure.
A study by Sarhan and Algamal reported that the number of nose bleeds was higher in patients with a history of high blood pressure.
The NHS said: “Nosebleeds aren’t usually series however frequent or heavy nosebleeds may indicate more serious health problems such as high blood pressure or blood clotting and should be checked.”
The excess strain and damage from having high blood pressure can cause coronary arteries serving the heart to slow down and become narrowed from the build up.
As arteries harden with plaque, blood clots become more likely to form which could lead to a heart attack.
Professor Simon Redwood, cardiologist consultant at London Bridge Hospital said: “The risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, obesity, lack of regular exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and having a close family member having heart disease.
“High blood pressure makes cholesterol more likely to deposit in the arteries, which, over time can cause a significant narrowing limiting the blood supply to the heart.
“If concerned see your doctor as soon as possible as they will be able to assess any symptoms and check for risk factors.”
Other symptoms of high blood pressure:
- Heart palpitations
- Blurred vision
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
If you experience nose bleeds you should speak with your doctor as a more serious problem could be causing the nose bleeding and you may be referred to a ear, nose and throat specialist for further tests.