Return to Index
Symptoms of Hypertension
Hypertension usually does not cause symptoms, and this is why it may go undiagnosed if unchecked. Unfortunately, even though there are no symptoms, high blood pressure can still be causing damage to smaller blood vessels and eventually major organs.
If you have a steep, fast rise in blood pressure, it is considered a medical emergency. A hypertensive emergency is defined as having a minimum systolic reading of 180 mm Hg or a minimum diastolic reading of 110 mm Hg. If you get this reading more than once with a short rest period in between, call for emergency medical services right away.
A hypertensive emergency may cause symptoms such as:
- Blurry or double vision
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, which may lead to fainting
Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115345/Hypertension. Updated August 29, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Hypertensive crisis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114059/Hypertensive-crisis. Updated July 15, 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016.
What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/signs. Updated September 10, 2015. Accessed September 20, 2016.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/17/2014