If you’re worried about developing hypertension or you’ve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what high blood pressure symptoms to watch out for. Unfortunately, many people with hypertension have no symptoms at all unless their blood pressure is approaching hypertensive crisis levels. So it’s best to invest in a blood pressure cuff in addition to looking out for these signs and symptoms.
When we’re talking about the headache associated with elevated blood pressure, we aren’t talking about the normal garden-variety headache where you take a couple of pain relievers and it goes away. If you’re getting severe headaches with no previous history of migraines, blood pressure is just one possible cause you’ll want to check. Other possible causes could be as simple as a case of caffeine withdrawal, sinus congestion, or a tension headache, but you should talk to your doctor if you experience severe headaches with no prior history.
“Pounding” in Your Chest or Ears
If you have a sensation of pulsing or pounding in your ears or in your chest when you haven’t been exercising vigorously, this could indicate an elevated blood pressure. It could also be related to drinking too much caffeine, so try cutting back on the coffee and soda. Anxiety can have the same effect, so try meditation or a relaxing activity to see if the pounding sensation resolves.
If you’re having problems with frequent nosebleeds that are hard to stop, hypertension may be the culprit. Another possible cause for nosebleeds is an irritation of your nasal lining. Consider whether you’ve recently had seasonal allergies and have been blowing your nose frequently, or if you’ve recently moved to a very dry climate — nosebleeds can occur more frequently when the nasal passages are excessively dry. If you’re on any medications that thin the blood, such as Coumadin or daily doses of aspirin, notify your doctor for further instructions.
Another of the more common high blood pressure symptoms is a rapid onset of confusion. Any significant changes in a person’s level of consciousness — whether confusion or a sudden onset of drowsiness or lethargy — needs immediate medical evaluation. There are many other possible causes for this symptom besides hypertension, including stroke or possibly an unreported head injury, so always seek medical attention if you experience changes in consciousness.
Chest pain is a symptom that should always be taken seriously, regardless of whether you suspect high blood pressure or not. Mild, intermittent chest pain can be one of the symptoms of high blood pressure or even a heart attack — sometimes people aren’t even aware they have suffered one, chalking up the discomfort to indigestion. Even if it’s not a heart attack, increases in blood pressure that remain unchecked can trigger a heart attack or stroke, so you should consult a doctor when experiencing any new chest pain.
While no one wants to go to the doctor or the emergency room, part of healthy aging is to always communicate potential health concerns to your doctor. Potential high blood pressure symptoms need treatment as early as possible, and the symptoms above could also indicate a more critical medical problem. Always talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms of high blood pressure because he or she will know the best way to treat your condition.