If you have high blood pressure, or hypertension, chances are you will not experience any symptoms. Hypertension is often "silent," however, there are a few symptoms that may develop if your blood pressure is exceedingly high. If you experience any of the following symptoms of high blood pressure, visit an urgent care center or hospital as soon as possible. Here are three uncommon symptoms of hypertension and what you can do about them.
If your blood pressure gets too high, you may experience a nosebleed. While the most common nosebleeds produce blood that flows out of the front of your nose, nosebleeds that are related to high blood pressure often originate in the posterior, or back part, of your nose.
This can cause blood to drip down your throat instead of coming out of your nostrils. If you experience a posterior nosebleed, see your doctor as soon as possible, who will examine your nose and check your blood pressure. Once you get your blood pressure under control, your nosebleeds will likely subside.
Hypertension can also lead to blurred vision or visual loss. When your blood pressure is extremely high, long-standing, or poorly managed, the capillaries in your eyes may be damaged. These capillaries include the capillaries behind your eye or in your retina.
If you experience problems with your vision, especially if associated with headache, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, seek emergency medical attention. While hypertension-related vision loss may improve once your blood pressure comes down, it may take a long time before your eyesight returns to normal. If you vision remains poor, your family physician may refer you to a retinal specialist who can perform laser surgery on your ocular blood vessels which may improve your vision.
High blood pressure may also cause numbness, or tingling, pricking, burning, or crawling sensations on your skin, face, or extremities. These abnormal sensations are known as parasthesias, and while they can mean nothing, they may be related to hypertension.
Abnormal sensations can also be related to nerve damage, vitamin toxicity, medication side effects, or nutritional deficiencies. If you experience parasthesias, see your health care provider. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and may also order other diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count, a thyroid panel, and serum vitamin levels.
If you experience any of the above, seek medical attention to rule out severe hypertension. The sooner high blood pressure is recognized and treated, the less likely you will be to develop complications such as heart attack, stroke, or organ damage.