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What are the Symptoms of Hypertension?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Dee Saale

The symptoms of hypertension vary from person to person. Some people who suffer from high blood pressure, also called hypertension, exhibit no symptoms at all, causing hypertension to be called the "silent killer." In the alternative, other people experience one or more physical symptoms of hypertension, such as headaches, blurry vision, nosebleeds, confusion, chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, and problems breathing. Only if a person checks her blood pressure frequently will she know whether she is affected by the potentially fatal disease.

Hypertension occurs when there is a high level of pressure within the arteries. The arteries transport blood from the heart to the organs and tissues in the body. The blood pressure reading is divided between the diastolic and systolic readings. These numbers indicate the pressure of blood against the artery walls when the heart is pumping and when it is relaxed.

Someone with hypertension should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
Someone with hypertension should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

There are certain markers that a medical professional observes when considering whether or not a person has hypertension. A person’s blood pressure is considered normal if it is below 120/80. If the person’s blood pressure ranges between 120/80 and 139/89, the person is diagnosed with pre-hypertension. If the person’s blood pressure is above 140/90, she is thought to have hypertension. When someone’s blood pressure is high, they may experience some symptoms of hypertension, including increased nosebleeds, dizziness, blurred vision and headaches.

Dizziness can be caused by hypertension.
Dizziness can be caused by hypertension.

If a person’s blood pressure reaches levels of 180/110 or higher, she is thought to be in hypertensive crisis. In that case, there are some telling symptoms that are quite indicative of a crisis. For example, some people may experience severe headaches, shortness of breath, severe anxiety, or nosebleeds. Emergency care should be sought immediately in those instances. If left untreated, the person may have a stroke, lose consciousness, have a heart attack, or experience damage to the kidneys, eyes, or other organs.

Some people with hypertension exhibit no signs of the condition, which can make it harder to diagnose.
Some people with hypertension exhibit no signs of the condition, which can make it harder to diagnose.

Since so many people are affected by hypertension with absolutely no symptoms, most researchers, scientists, and medical professionals believe that people should not rely on the symptoms of hypertension to decide whether they are affected. In fact, many doctors term such symptoms as mythical symptoms.

The only accurate indication that a person is free from hypertension is a regular blood pressure testing. However, if a person experiences any of the symptoms of hypertension, those symptoms should not be ignored. Regular check-ups and open communication with a skilled medical professional are both great ways to keep hypertension at bay or under control.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to WiseGEEK.

Learn more...
Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to WiseGEEK.

Learn more...

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    • Someone with hypertension should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
      By: Rob
      Someone with hypertension should have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
    • Dizziness can be caused by hypertension.
      By: 9nong
      Dizziness can be caused by hypertension.
    • Some people with hypertension exhibit no signs of the condition, which can make it harder to diagnose.
      By: michaeljung
      Some people with hypertension exhibit no signs of the condition, which can make it harder to diagnose.
    • Vasodilators are common high blood pressure medications.
      By: krutoeva
      Vasodilators are common high blood pressure medications.
    • Untreated hypertension may cause loss of consciousness.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Untreated hypertension may cause loss of consciousness.
    • Nosebleeds can be a symptom of hypertension.
      By: Michael Schütze
      Nosebleeds can be a symptom of hypertension.