High blood pressure (hypertension), can easily be measured. However, sometimes people do not realise they are suffering from high blood pressure. At times a person’s blood pressure can rise suddenly due to an underlying condition. Under such circumstances, having a good understanding of the signs and symptoms can help a person get immediate medical assistance.


Any fluctuation in blood pressure, whether high or low, can cause headaches. The more severe the hypertension, the more severe the headache becomes. Extreme hypertension can cause a stroke if it goes untreated.


Fluctuations in blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than usual. This difference in blood pressure levels can cause a person to feel light-headed or dizzy. It is not uncommon for people with high blood pressure to lose their balance, fall or faint.

Blurred Vision

The optical nerve, behind the eye, can be affected by blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause problems with the optic nerve, causing blurred vision or redness of the eyes.

Nausea & Vomiting

Fluctuations in blood pressure can cause digestive disturbances, which can result in nausea or vomiting if severe.

Chest Pain

High blood pressure makes the heart pump faster and harder than usual. This increased pumping causes muscular stress on cardiac muscles. If the muscles are weak, high blood pressure can cause extreme chest pain, as they struggle to keep up with the increased blood pressure in the body.

Shortness of Breath

While the heart is responsible for pumping blood around the body, it is also responsible for blood filtration through the lungs. The unfiltered blood from veins goes to the lungs where carbon dioxide from the blood is filtered out of the body and replaced with oxygen. When blood pressure increases, this circulation is disturbed, which can cause shortness of breath.


Nosebleeds are caused by many factors, including high blood pressure. Hypertension can cause the tiny blood vessels in the nose to swell up and burst, causing a nosebleed. Nosebleeds should only last a few minutes, but if they occur frequently, you should seek medical attention.

Facial Flushing, Sweating, Nervousness

High blood pressure can cause panic attacks and vice versa. In this situation, high blood pressure can cause facial flushing, an increase of body temperature, sweating and nervousness. These effects result from altered levels of chemicals in the body, such as adrenaline.