Hypertension Home > Hypertension Symptoms

Most people do not have any hypertension symptoms. When they are noticeable, signs and symptoms of hypertension may include blurred vision, dizziness, headache, and nausea. It usually takes several years for problems from hypertension to become noticeable. Unfortunately, by that time, serious damage may have already been done to body structures, such as blood vessels, the heart, eyes, brain, or kidneys.

An Overview of Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension

Most people with high blood pressure (medically known as hypertension) don't have any symptoms. This is because hypertension doesn't cause problems over a day or weeks or even months. It usually takes several years for high blood pressure to cause noticeable symptoms, and even when it does cause problems, the symptoms are often mild and nonspecific (meaning they could be caused by several different conditions). As a result, hypertension is often referred to as "the silent killer." People with hypertension typically don't even realize they have it until they have blood pressure readings that are too high.

Possible Hypertension Symptoms

In some cases, a person can have symptoms with hypertension. Possible symptoms associated with hypertension include:
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Headache.
However, many people don't seek medical care until they have more severe symptoms from the organ damage that chronic hypertension can cause.

Malignant Hypertension Symptoms

About 1 percent of people with high blood pressure can develop a severe form known 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 hypertension may experience symptoms that include:
To prevent brain bleeding or stroke when hypertension becomes this severe, treatment requires emergency hospitalization and lowering of blood pressure.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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