Hypertension Home > Symptoms of Hypertension

Because it usually causes damage gradually, most people with high blood pressure do not experience any signs or symptoms of hypertension. People who do exhibit symptoms may get headaches, have blurred vision, or feel dizzy. If people do not seek medical care until their hypertension symptoms are severe, they may develop malignant hypertension, which generally requires emergency hospitalization.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hypertension?

Most people with high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) don't experience any symptoms. This is because hypertension doesn't cause problems over a day or weeks or even months. It usually takes several years for hypertension 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 health problems). 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.

Common Hypertension Symptoms

In some cases, a person can display symptoms of hypertension. Some of the common symptoms include:
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision.
Unfortunately, many people don't seek medical care until they are dealing with severe symptoms resulting from the organ damage that chronic hypertension can cause.

Symptoms of Malignant Hypertension

About 1 percent of people with high blood pressure do not seek medical care until their symptoms are 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 symptoms of malignant hypertension may experience:
Emergency hospitalization and treatment for hypertension is required to prevent stroke or brain bleeding when symptoms of hypertension become this severe.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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