Symptoms of Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

November 12, 2012

Symptoms of Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

Hypertension or HTN is someone who has suffered from high blood pressure for at least six months. Blood pressure levels reading 140/90 or more means that a person has high blood pressure. Since blood pressure can be influenced by a number of factors, doctors like to take several readings over a length of time in order to determine if the average blood pressure numbers are too high. For most people with HTN, the only symptoms of hypertension they get are high blood pressure readings. Because of the lack of immediate symptoms of hypertension, many patients may ignore their high blood pressure problem. This makes them far more susceptible to internal organ damage or a stroke, which can be lethal. Types of HTN There are many different variations of HTN but they are basically divided into three kinds – primary, secondary and malignant. Primary hypertension does not seem to have been caused by another medical complication such as polycystic kidney disease or a faulty gene. There are no common symptoms of hypertension with primary hypertension. Secondary hypertension is caused by another medical problem. That medical problem needs to be treated if blood pressure levels are going to go down and stay down. People with kidney problems often develop secondary hypertension because their kidneys cannot regulate salt levels in the body. Too much salt in the bloodstream causes the heart to beat harder and elevates blood pressure.

Uncommon Symptoms Patients with hypertension sometimes report symptoms that sent them to the doctor’s office. When their blood pressure levels were lowered, so did the symptoms. These are uncommon symptoms of hypertension:

  • Chronic headaches that may last over 72 hours

  • Dizziness or feeling as if the room is spinning

  • Nausea and vomiting from dizziness or headaches

  • Repeated nosebleeds

  • Tinnitus or persistent strange noises in the ears

  • Feeling out of breath more often than usual, even after resting or performing very light tasks

  • Flushed skin

  • Feeling very tired all of the time, despite getting enough rest

  • Chronic blurry vision

  • Chronic double vision, which may be accompanied by headaches and dizziness or walking into stationary objects.

Malignant Hypertension The worst form of hypertension is called malignant hypertension. This happens to only 1% of people with hypertension. It can cause permanent brain damage, blindness or can kill through organ failure. Fortunately, this form of hypertension does produce immediate symptoms. Anyone experiencing these symptoms of hypertension should go to a hospital immediately, especially if they have already been diagnosed with hypertension:

  • Nosebleeds

  • Vision problems

  • Blood coming out of the eye

  • Breathing problems

  • Chest pain

  • The worst headache of your life

  • Nausea and vomiting or dry heaving

  • Numbness of one side of the body, face, arm or leg

  • Severe confusion or irrational anxiety

  • Inability to urinate or urinating far less than usual

  • Seizures

Even if you have not been diagnosed with hypertension, go to the hospital anyway. Many of these extreme symptoms of hypertension are identical to a stroke or a heart attack.


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