10 High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

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Hypertension or high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes, and it is the number two cause of kidney failure in the US. Worldwide. Over 1 billion people have hypertension, and in the United States, 46% of adults over the age of 20 have high blood pressure. Yet only half of these hypertensive patients have their blood pressure under control. In order to solve a problem, you must first recognize if you have one. So today, I'm going to give you 10 high blood pressure symptoms you should never ignore.


What Is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure refers to the force that the blood in your vessels exerts on the walls of your arteries. For your blood pressure measurement, you're probably familiar with the two numbers. The top number or systolic blood pressure and the bottom number, diastolic blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in your vessels when the heart is contracting or squeezing. The diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in your vessels when the heart is relaxed.


high blood pressure chart


Blood Pressure Ranges

Normal Blood Pressure Numbers

Normal or healthy blood pressure is when that top number is less than 120 and that bottom number, the diastolic, is less than 80.

Elevated Blood Pressure Numbers

You have elevated blood pressure if the systolic is between 120 and 129, while the diastolic is still less than 80.

Stage One and Stage Two Hypertension

You have stage one hypertension if that top number is between 130 and 139 and, or the diastolic number is between 80 and 89. And you have stage two hypertension if the systolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140, and if that diastolic blood pressure is greater than or equal to 90 and then you have a whole hypertensive crisis if your blood pressure is 180 over 120.

Please watch my YouTube video on what causes hypertension to learn more. In order to be screened and monitored for hypertension, you should see your physician.


high blood pressure symptoms


High Blood Pressure Symptoms

So now, here at 10 symptoms of high blood pressure, you should never ignore. And make sure you pay attention to the last symptom, because it may be the most important.

1. Headache

When you have hypertension, a headache or even pounding in the ears can be a symptom. If you have hypertension, especially if it's very high, you can have elevated pressure pushing against the arteries within your brain. your brain. This can cause a headache or even a sensation of pounding in the ears.

2. Blurry Vision

Blurry vision or change in vision can also be a symptom of hypertension. In your eyes, you have a retina. They're at the back of your eyes and they have many, many, many small blood vessels. When you have very elevated blood pressure, especially chronically, then these vessels can be damaged or compromised and you can get something called hypertensive retinopathy. These tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes can even bleed and this can lead to blurry vision. You can also have increased pressure in your eyes related to hypertension, which can cause blurry vision. And if the blood flow to the retina happens to be compromised or even if it stops, then you can actually have a loss of vision.

Question: Have you been diagnosed with hypertension and in hindsight, you had symptoms but did not even realize that those were symptoms of high blood pressure? Please comment down below.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue or excess tiredness or even confusion can be symptoms of high blood pressure for many reasons. When you have hypertension, it can compromise your heart or the way that your heart pumps blood and oxygen flow to your body. This certainly can cause fatigue. You can also have a compromise of your lungs or the way that you oxygenate, which again, can cause fatigue. And certainly, you can have neurological symptoms related to the high blood pressure, again causing fatigue.

4. Chest Pain

Chest pain can certainly be a symptom of hypertension, as hypertension is a leading cause of heart attacks or heart failure. When you have very elevated blood pressure, it can compromise the blood flow to your coronary arteries or your heart arteries and it can lead to a heart attack or a myocardial infarction. If this happens, well certainly, you can have chest pain. So chest pain can be a symptom of high blood pressure you don't want to ignore.

5. Weakness

Weakness can certainly be a symptom of high blood pressure, especially if it is a focal weakness. Because that could be an indication that you've had a stroke or a cerebral vascular accident. Hypertension is the leading cause of strokes, so if you have facial drooping, arm weakness, and or leg weakness, that could mean that your high blood pressure has led to a stroke or neurological compromise.

6. Nausea

You can have nausea and, or vomiting as a symptom of hypertension. It can be for a number of reasons. You can become nauseated as a result of increased intracranial pressure. For example, if your high blood pressure has caused some of the vessels in your brain to erupt, then you can have a hemorrhagic stroke, which can cause increased pressure within your brain, and that increased pressure can trigger nausea or vomiting. Also if your hypertension has caused you to have a heart attack, then one of the atypical symptoms of heart disease can be nausea and vomiting.

In order to learn ways to lower your blood pressure naturally, make sure you watch my YouTube video after you finish reading this.

7. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath could be a symptom of high blood pressure for many reasons. You can have shortness of breath due to a heart attack from high blood pressure. Shortness of breath due to pulmonary edema or excess fluid in the lungs, which can be related to elevated blood pressure. Also, you can get shortness of breath if hypertension has led to heart failure, which causes an inadequate pumping of the blood and leads to a backup of fluid in the lungs, again, pulmonary edema. So shortness of breath can be a symptom of high blood pressure you should never ignore.


8. Back Pain

That may sound odd, but yes, back pain can be a symptom of hypertension you should not ignore. High blood pressure can lead to the emergence of a very serious phenomenon called aortic dissection. That's when the aorta is compromised in a way where you start bleeding into the wall of the aorta and this can be fatal. Very elevated blood pressure can trigger aortic dissection. One of the main symptoms of aortic dissection is back pain. So yes, back pain can be a symptom of high blood pressure you should absolutely never ignore.

9. Nose Bleeds

Albeit rare, a nosebleed can be a symptom of high blood pressure. You have many tiny blood vessels within your nasal airways and if you have elevated blood pressure, it can damage these vessels when that pressure is high and that force against these arteries is great, it can cause you to have a nosebleed.

10. Nothing

Finally, symptom number ten is probably the most important symptom of hypertension that you should realize. Nothing. Most people actually have no symptoms whatsoever of hypertension. This is why they call hypertension the silent killer. So you can have extremely high blood pressure, even blood pressure in the 200's over 100's. And if your body has compensated, if you have become used to living with dangerously high blood pressure, then you could walk around with absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. The frightening thing about this is that a lot of people feel that because they don't have symptoms when their blood pressure is very high, they think that perhaps high blood pressure is what is normal for them. Well, I'm here to tell you, this could not be farther from the truth.

Even when your body has compensated and you are having no symptoms with your high blood pressure or elevated blood pressure, hypertension can still cause damage. It can still cause kidney failure.  It can still cause heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and even death. So hypertension is not normal for anyone.

Follow Up with Your Physician

Be sure to follow up with your physician to learn your risk factors for hypertension and to be monitored. And if you have not done so already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and be sure to share this article with the people you care about.

Dr. Frita - Frita McRae Fisher, M.D.
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  1. Kimberly Simpson on March 13, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I have been treated and have stage 1 hypertension and I have been having really bad headaches 2 to three a day nausea and blurred vision. My blood pressure was 148/86 a week ago. Should I seek medical attention if this continues..

    • Rosalinda Gonzalez on July 17, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      You should at keast see your primary Physician. It’s a bit spiked. I’m too getting blurred vision. Not sure it’s because of spike in bp but if it is I’d thought bp had be higher to start having bad symptoms

  2. Kimberly Simpson on March 13, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I have been treated and have stage 1 hypertension and I have been having really bad headaches 2 to three a day nausea and blurred vision. My blood pressure was 148/86 a week ago. Should I seek medical attention if this continues..

  3. Erik on January 25, 2022 at 2:20 am

    I have blurred vision headaches fatigue chest pain shortness of breath and weakness. My BP today was 163/105. What should I do? I drink monsters and have anxiety.

  4. Khushi sakpal on November 3, 2023 at 2:15 am

    I appreciated the emphasis on lifestyle changes. It’s refreshing to see that small adjustments in diet and exercise can make a big difference. Could you provide some examples of foods to include and avoid for managing blood pressure?

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