Skip to content

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Font Size

Understanding High Blood Pressure -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

In the vast majority of cases, there are no clear symptoms of high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), which can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and eye problems if untreated. The only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis. This is especially important if you have a close relative who has high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure is extremely high, there may be certain symptoms to look out for, including:

Recommended Related to Hypertension

High Blood Pressure and Smoking

Smoking makes you more likely to get high blood pressure and heart disease. Put quitting at the top of your to-do list to help lower your blood pressure. It could save your life. The nicotine in cigarette smoke is a big part of the problem. It raises your blood pressure and heart rate, makes your arteries more narrow and hardens their walls, and also makes your blood more likely to clot. It stresses your heart and sets you up for a heart attack or stroke. If you don't smoke but you spend time...

Read the High Blood Pressure and Smoking article > >

  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine

If you have any of these hypertension symptoms, see a doctor immediately. You could be having a hypertensive crisis that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

 

Call Your Doctor About High Blood Pressure If:

  • Your diastolic pressure -- the second, or bottom, number in a blood pressure reading -- suddenly shoots above 120 ,or your systolic pressure, the first number, is over 180; you may have malignant hypertension (also known as ''hypertensive emergency''), a life-threatening condition that can result in heart attack, stroke, kidney and eye problems.
  • You are experiencing severe headaches, nausea, blurred vision, and confusion or memory loss; this may be a sign of malignant hypertension.
  • You are pregnant and develop hypertension; symptoms may include severe headache and sudden swelling of the legs. High blood pressure during pregnancy can affect not only your own health, but also the health of your unborn child.
  • You're taking drugs for high blood pressure and experiencing worrisome side effects, such as angioedema (swelling of your mouth or tongue), drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, or loss of sexual function; your doctor may prescribe a different anti-hypertensive drug.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on March 26, 2014

Today on WebMD

blood pressure
Symptoms, causes, and more.
headache
Learn the causes.
 
Compressed heart
5 habits to change.
Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
Exercises that help.
 
heart healthy living
ARTICLE
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
VIDEO
Compressed heart
Article
 
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Heart Foods Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Low Blood Pressure
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections