Physical Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

Most people with hypertension don't display any physical symptoms of high blood pressure for several years, and even then, they are often mild and nonspecific. People who do have symptoms may experience headaches, nausea, and dizziness. If a person's high blood pressure causes symptoms that are severe, the condition is called malignant hypertension.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure: An Introduction

Because high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) does not often cause problems over days, weeks, months, or even years, most people with the condition don't experience any symptoms. It usually takes several years for high blood pressure to cause noticeable symptoms; even then, the symptoms of high blood pressure are often mild and nonspecific (meaning they could be caused by several different conditions). For this reason, high blood pressure is often referred to as "the silent killer." People with high blood pressure typically don't even realize they have it until they have blood pressure readings that are too high.
 

What Are Some Common Physical High Blood Pressure Symptoms?

In some cases, a person can have physical symptoms of high blood pressure. Common physical high blood pressure symptoms include:
 
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision.
     
However, many people don't seek medical care until they have more severe symptoms from the organ damage long-term high blood pressure can cause.
 

Malignant Hypertension

About 1 percent of people with hypertension do not seek medical care until their symptoms of high blood pressure are extremely severe. This is referred to as malignant hypertension. In malignant hypertension, the diastolic blood pressure (the lower number of a blood pressure reading) often exceeds 140 mmHg. People with malignant symptoms of high blood pressure may experience:
 
When high blood pressure becomes this severe, emergency hospitalization and lowering of blood pressure are required to prevent brain bleeding or stroke.
 
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