What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

You may not have any signs of high blood pressure, or you could notice hypertension symptoms in your day-to-day activities.
What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

If your systolic and diastolic blood pressure are in two different categories, doctors consider the number that is in the higher category. For example, if your blood pressure is 135/91, your systolic blood pressure is in the prehypertensive range and your diastolic blood pressure is in the range of Stage 1 hypertension. Your measurement or 135/91 would place you in the category of Stage 1 hypertension. 

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

These are the standard classifications for normal and high blood pressure.

  • Normal blood pressure: 90/60 to under 120/80 mm Hg
  • Prehypertension, or risk for hypertension: 120-139/80-89 mm Hg
  • Stage 1 hypertension: 140-159/90-99 mm Hg
  • Stage 2 hypertension: over 160/100 mm Hg

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Systolic (Top Number) 80

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

The symptoms of elevated blood pressure depend on which kind you have and how severe it is. You may not have any warning signs of high blood pressure, or you could notice hypertension symptoms or side effects in your day-to-day activities. 

Symptoms of Primary Hypertension

High blood pressure is known as “the silent killer” because you can have it without knowing it. You cannot depend on specific symptoms of high blood pressure to let you know that you have high blood pressure. That means you could be at risk for long-term complications such as a stroke or kidney disease without realizing it.

The American Heart Association, or AHA, explains that the early symptoms of high blood pressure that people tend to think about are largely mythical. You are unlikely to notice “classic” signs such as anxiety, insomnia, or flushing in your face. You could have blood spots in your eyes due to subconjunctival hemorrhage, but dizziness itself is not among the essential symptoms of high blood pressure.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension

Early signs of pulmonary arterial hypertension can be related to the trouble you have getting blood to your lungs to get oxygenated. You might experience shortness of breath and a fast heartbeat while doing activities that are otherwise routine, such as climbing stairs. You might also have chest pain, a reduced appetite, and pain in your chest or upper right portion of your abdomen.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension symptoms can develop into light-headedness and fainting. Your lips and skin might have a bluish tinge because of the lack of adequate oxygenation of your blood. 

Symptoms of Orthostatic Hypertension

Early signs of orthostatic hypertension can include an intense headache that throbs and possibly blurry vision. Orthostatic hypertension symptoms can also include poor circulation and narrowing of the arterioles. 

Symptoms of Portal Hypertension

You may not have specific early signs of portal hypertension, but since the condition is usually caused by cirrhosis of the liver, you are likely to have portal hypertension if you have cirrhosis. You might have the following portal hypertension symptoms.

  • Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract with bloody stools or vomit
  • Low platelet count or reduced blood clotting ability
  • Low white blood cell count, which can lead to more infections, since white blood cells are immune cells
  • Confusion or encephalopathy related to lower liver function
  • Fluid in the abdomen, or ascites

Your doctor might perform angiography, an ultrasound, or an endoscopy to help diagnose portal hypertension. 

Symptoms of Malignant Hypertension

Because of the need for emergency care, it is important to recognize the early signs of malignant hypertension. The first giveaway is blood pressure of 180/120. You might have bleeding in the eyes due to rupture of the small blood vessels. Other malignant hypertension symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness, a headache, numbness in your extremities, and confusion. 

Symptoms of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Early signs of idiopathic intracranial hypertension can include trouble with your vision, such as periodic episodes of blindness, blind spots, trouble with your peripheral (side) vision, and double vision. Other common idiopathic intracranial hypertension symptoms include:

  • Ringing in your ears, or tinnitus
  • Headaches
  • Pain in your shoulders or neck

Hypertension Headache

Headaches strike over 90% of adults each year. You may be able to wait out some and let them pass, but others may be a sign that your body is asking you to take action. There is a chance that your headache could be a symptom of high blood pressure. If there are no other causes of your headache, you should ask your healthcare provider about getting your blood pressure checked.

2021 High Blood Pressure Clinical Guidelines

Hypertension clinical guidelines from the American Heart Association are comprehensive guidelines for healthcare professionals for the detection and treatment of high blood pressure in a wide range of patients. Included in the 2021 hypertension clinical guidelines are proper methods for measuring blood pressure, risk factors for hypertension, and hypertension treatment for different populations.

These guidelines help guide healthcare practice
s, and can be related to patient reimbursement and healthcare coverage. The tenth revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10, is the set of codes used to designate specific health conditions and allow for reimbursement through health insurance programs.

There are a few hypertension ICD-10 codes. The code for essential primary hypertension without comorbidities is I10. A patient with hypertension and heart disease would qualify for I11.9 or I11.0, depending on if she had heart failure as well. Other ICD-10 codes consider hypertension with or without chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

Best High Blood Pressure App

You are putting in the work, so you deserve to maximize the benefits. A weight loss health coach app can help you do just that. A health coach app serves all the functions of a regular coach: informing, motivating, guiding, cheering, and organizing. The best weight loss health coach app:

  • Informs you about healthy ways to lose weight and incorporate healthy behaviors into your lifestyle.
  • Motivates you to keep setting and chasing new goals.
  • Guides you through your weight loss journey in your own way.
  • Cheers your successes, your efforts, and, should you fall short of your goals for a time, your renewed dedication.
  • Organizes by encouraging you to log your food, activity and weight, and storing that information.

High Blood Pressure Can Increase Your Risk of Diabetes, Check Now

Free Health Kit & Fitbit®
Systolic (Top Number) 80

Lark Health Coach serves all of those roles, and then some. Lark is available 24/7 to be your coach and friend. Your health coach automatically customizes your program for you.

Lark even learns your patterns and coaches around them. Do you prefer a gluten-free or dairy-free lifestyle? You’ll get tips on healthy ways to get your nutrients without eating gluten or dairy products. Do you normally take an afternoon walk? Then do not be surprised if Lark gives you a gentle nudge if you forget to take it one day.