High blood pressure symptoms typically are not what the general public normally associates to be symptoms of having high blood pressure (hypertension). There is a general misconception that having a red face, head rushes, dizziness, and headaches is indicative of elevated blood pressure. This is not necessarily the case as these symptoms occur just as frequently in individuals without high blood pressure.
In fact, in the majority of people, elevated blood pressure will typically not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, it is the prolonged, sustained, or severe elevation of blood pressure that will lead to symptoms and disease.
Without addressing the many potential causes for high blood pressure the symptoms are generally diverse. Over time the heart and arteries undergo thickening of their muscular walls and enlarge in overall size in order to handle the increased workload of pumping blood throughout the body. The heart rythym may be affected and heart failure may result.
High blood pressure symptoms:
- blurred vision
- shortness of breath
- seizures (with severely high blood pressure)
- sleepiness (with severely high blood pressure)
Diagnosis is typically through several measurements of blood pressure while sitting and standing, and during multiple separate visits. Further confirmation can be achieved with the use of a continuous blood pressure monitor worn for an extended period of time.
Following diagnosis, the severity of the high blood pressure and its effects on other regions of the body (eyes, kidneys, heart) are typically ascertained. Physical examination, blood and urine testing and ECG are routinely used. The cause of the high blood pressure must also be determined.
Treatments are varied depending on the severity of the elevation in blood pressure, its cause, and the individuals age and lifestyle.
Primary hypertension, without a known cause, is not curable, but treament options may be available to help control the condition. Secondary hypertension, with a known cause, can typically be treated with an appropriate regimen of diet, exercise, drugs, and/or change in lifestyle.