3 Symptoms That Can Signal High Blood Pressure

While high blood pressure is often thought of as a "silent disease" because it is frequently asymptomatic, it can actually cause significant symptoms. Long-standing or poorly managed high blood pressure, or hypertension, can heighten your risk for heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot. Here are three symptoms that may signal high blood pressure and what you can do about them.

1. Lightheadedness

While an occasional episode of lightheadedness may be benign, frequent bouts with lightheadedness or dizziness may mean that you have high blood pressure. If you feel woozy or unsteady on your feet, see your physician or visit an urgent care center for a medical evaluation.

There, you will get your blood pressure checked, and if elevated, the health care provider may ask that you sit quietly for a few minutes before taking another reading. Sometimes, "white coat anxiety" causes a transient spike in blood pressure. This common condition is the result of seeing medical personal in their white coats. 

2. Nosebleed 

Most mild nosebleeds are the result of dry nasal passages or taking anticoagulant medication. In certain cases, a nosebleed may be the result of high blood pressure, and while nosebleeds unrelated to high blood pressure are typically frontal nosebleeds, those related to hypertension are referred to as posterior nosebleeds. This means that instead of the blood flowing out of your nostrils, bleeding starts high up in your nose and tends to flow back down your throat.

If you experience a bloody nose, especially if the blood flows backward, visit an urgent care center or a hospital emergency room. If bleeding is profuse, the doctor may need to cauterize the blood vessels in your nasal cavity to help stop it.

3. Pain In Back Of The Head

If you have pain in the back of your head known as a posterior headache, you might have high blood pressure. These types of headaches are typically noticed upon awakening; however, they can occur at any time of the day or night.

If you get frequent headaches, posterior or otherwise, see your doctor. If, however, your headaches are accompanied by vision problems, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, or inability to speak, seek emergency medical care at once. Not only can these symptoms signal high blood pressure, but they may also be associated with a serious cardiovascular event.

If you develop any of the above symptoms, get a medical checkup from your physician or visit an urgent care center. The sooner high blood pressure is recognized and addressed, the less likely you will be to experience problems with your blood vessels, heart, or kidneys.