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TriStar Centennial Medical Center

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.

Hypertensive Emergency

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:

  • Headache
  • Nosebleed
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, which may lead to fainting

Revision Information

  • Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated February 12, 2014. Accessed February 28, 2014.

  • Hypertensive emergency. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed February 28, 2014.

  • What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated August 2, 2012. Accessed February 28, 2014.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.