Five Warning Signs That Your Blood Pressure Is High

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition affecting almost half of all American adults. Cases are often asymptomatic, so most people do not even realize they have it. In addition to increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure can cause other unpleasant physical symptoms, though many people have hypertension and don’t know it. Residents of the Forks, Port Townsend, Joyce, and Port Angeles, WA areas with a family history of hypertension or who are concerned about their risk should schedule a consultation with Dr. Jessica Panza and Dr. Alisha Detorres at Coastal Health to identify the cause of their high blood pressure. Because hypertension can be difficult to detect without a medical test, it’s also smart to keep your eye out for these five warning signs that your blood pressure is high.

1. Pounding feeling in chest or chest pain

For many people with high blood pressure, one of the first physical signs they notice is a pounding feeling in their chest or chest pain. They may feel like their heart is racing, or they may have heart palpitations and a pounding heartbeat that is irregular. Contact Drs. West and Detorres at Coastal Health in Port Angeles, WA if you are experiencing these symptoms, as they may be a sign of an impending cardiac event, like a heart attack. Only a quarter of Americans with high blood pressure have the condition under control, which means millions of people are going without treatment that could save their lives.

2. Lightheadedness or dizziness

Another common sign of high blood pressure is a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness with no other obvious cause. These feelings often appear when standing up from a seated or prone position, especially if you stand up quickly. Dizziness is especially common in older adults with hypertension.

3. Severe headaches

High blood pressure can cause people to have severe headaches that are often characterized by throbbing or pounding pain, and they often occur first thing in the morning. These headaches may share similar sensations as migraine headaches, though they may or may not come with migraine-like symptoms, such as nausea or light sensitivity. Recent research suggests that hypertension headaches may be caused by a sudden spike in blood pressure.

4. Nosebleeds

Though it has yet to be conclusively established by medical researchers, there is growing evidence that hypertension is associated with spontaneous nosebleeds. A Korean study published in 2020 found that hypertension was associated with a 45% higher risk of nosebleeds. Bleeding was also more severe in those with high blood pressure than those without; patients with hypertension were nearly three times more likely to seek emergency care for their nosebleeds.

5. Difficulty breathing

Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing while doing normal, everyday activities is another common sign of hypertension. Shortness of breath from hypertension can occur when climbing stairs, walking long distances, or engaging in any form of mild exercise.

Get your blood pressure under control

As we know, high blood pressure is extremely common in the United States, but millions of people who have hypertension don’t have it under control. That may be because many or most of them aren’t even aware they have high blood pressure. Residents of the Forks, Port Townsend, Joyce, and Port Angeles, WA areas who are concerned about their risk of hypertension should contact the Port Angeles, WA office of Dr. Jessica Panza and Dr. Alisha Detorres at Coastal Health to schedule a consultation today. We have an integrative approach and can customize treatments based on patients' preferences.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.