Hypertension Symptoms and Effects

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Hypertension or high blood pressure is known as the silent killer because in the majority of cases, there are very few or no symptoms during the initial stages of disease. Symptoms may appear when there is organ damage or the pressure has reached a very high level, of around 180/110 mm of Hg.

Some of the symptoms of hypertension or high blood pressure include:

  • Headache - Some people with high blood pressure may experience headaches, but headaches often don't occur unless the pressure is significantly raised.
  • Pain in the back of the neck
  • Flushing and feeling hot
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Severe hypertension may cause sudden and severe nosebleeds
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Long term high blood pressure can lead to eye damage and blurred or double vision.

Effects of high blood pressure

Long term high pressure against arterial walls eventually damages and strains them. This may lead to several complications, the most well known complication being atherosclerosis which describes a build up of fatty deposits or plaques in the walls lining the arteries. As the walls thicken with the deposits, they calcify and become brittle with a narrow lumen which restricts the flow of blood.

Atherosclerosis is responsible for a host of other disease conditions such as stroke and heart attacks. The formation of a blood clot at the site of the plaque may block the artery completely and this leads to ischemia or a lack of blood supply to the heart, a common cause of heart attack.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2014

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Comments
  1. Dee Havens Dee Havens United States says:

    i have had several of these symptoms and they were written off as depression simply because I have dual dx.  Everyone around me knows i am not depressed, and my therapist and pysichiatrist agree.  I have to change doctors because even though i was diagnosed at urgent care, my regular doctor does not want me to take my bp medicine.  Seriously this is the first day i have felt good in seven weeks.  My  advise to people out there is to go with your gut, make a log of your readigs, Like me you may have to get a second opiinion, and be assurred once on the meds, the headaches will subside, and you will slowly get your appetite  back please take it slow, if you are like me yo may have to   take it slow to get your strength back.  Best of luck out there, it will work out,

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