Symptoms of high blood pressure


The constriction or loss of elasticity of blood vessels means that the heart has to build up more pressure so that blood flow can be maintained in such a way that all organ systems continue to be adequately supplied with blood.

In an adult, a value of 120 / 80mmHg is considered normal, if three independent measurements register values ​​from 140 / 90mmHg, this is referred to as high blood pressure.

Due to the increasing blood pressure, organs can usually continue to be supplied with blood, but the benefit of the blood supply changes, since each organ system can only fulfill its individual tasks if the blood flows through the organ in a certain pressure range.

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If the blood pressure rises permanently, unspecific symptoms can occur, triggered depending on the organ that is particularly sensitive to the change in pressure.

These can vary greatly from patient to patient. Pre-existing illnesses and risk factors also influence the occurrence and severity of symptoms.

They usually only show up after years of long-standing but unnoticed high blood pressure, when consequential damage has occurred. Therefore, in order to avoid consequential damage, you should regularly check your blood pressure and if you have unspecific symptoms of unknown cause, etc. a. think about possible high blood pressure.

There are no typical symptoms or differences between men and women with high blood pressure.

Symptoms in men

  • Tension and restlessness
  • sleep disorders
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • recurring headache
  • dizziness
  • tinnitus
  • sweat
  • Palpitations
  • Racing heart
  • fatigue
  • red face / red ears
  • In the event of a crisis in high blood pressure: shortness of breath during exertion, panic, tightness in the chest

The intake of cortisone and a high consumption of licorice (> 250g / d) can lead to high blood pressure. Therefore, when symptoms occur, changes in life circumstances or new medication should always be considered.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart diseases that affect the coronary arteries, a stroke, kidney and heart failure and even atrial fibrillation. If typical symptoms occur for the diseases mentioned, this should always be clarified by a doctor.

Specific symptoms in women

The symptoms in women are identical to those in men.

Especially in women from menopause, the symptoms are often due to hormonal changes in the body.

If the symptoms mentioned occur during pregnancy or when taking oral contraceptives, these may also be the cause of the symptoms. And should therefore disappear again after the pregnancy has ended or after the contraceptive has been discontinued.


Increased blood pressure represents increased physical stress. This can lead to a reduction in performance, which is often characterized by fatigue. The need for sleep increases. Fatigue is always a signal from the body that it needs rest and relaxation. A stressful everyday life with few breaks also increases tiredness.

8 hours of sleep per night are considered optimal. With high blood pressure, increased physical strain and depending on age, the need may increase.

If the need for sleep is not satisfied, or if the high blood pressure is not reduced sufficiently, further u. a. Symptoms caused by tiredness, such as poor concentration and decreased alertness.

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The ringing in the ears is a collective term for differently occurring noises in the ears, for example audible as whistling, humming or hissing.

It is characteristic that this form of noise does not arise outside the body, but within the own body and therefore usually only audible by the patient himself. Everyone affected can perceive a wide variety of noises.

The type of noise that is created is very individual. High blood pressure can lead to ringing in the ears. The special thing about it is that noises which emanate from diseases of the blood vessel system can often not only be perceived by the patient, but also objectively. This means that not only does the patient perceive these noises inside his ear, but special procedures can also record them and thus make them understandable for the examiner. They can appear on both ears at the same time, or on one side.

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Red eyes

The dermis serves to protect the eyeball from the cornea to the entrance of the optic nerve. Part of it is visible as a white area around the pupil and iris. Except for a few places, there are hardly any blood vessels in it. Therefore, these are mostly unaffected in the case of high blood pressure. However, if there is inflammation or severe dryness of the eyes, the normally white part of the eyes can turn red or, depending on the clinical picture, red, bluish or yellow.

However, high blood pressure does not leave the whole eye untouched. Persistently high blood pressure can cause the vessels of the retina to close and / or deposits to form in their vessel walls. This causes the vessels to constrict and become inelastic.

There is a barrier between the vessels and the retina that ensures that only certain substances that circulate in the blood can enter the retina. High blood pressure destroys this barrier.

Retinal hemorrhages and fluid retention can occur. The redness that occurs in this way cannot be perceived with the naked eye (i.e. from the outside). This requires special so-called ophthalmoscopes with which the fundus can be viewed and assessed.

It is important that this examination can be used to draw conclusions about any further changes in vessels located elsewhere in the body. Which can confirm or increase the diagnosis of high blood pressure.

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a headache

Basically, like all pain, headaches are a warning signal from the body that should be taken seriously.

High blood pressure should always be considered, especially in the case of frequently recurring headaches for which the cause is not known. Which can manifest itself in the form of a mild headache up to migraine-like attacks.

Often a headache associated with high blood pressure is localized at the back of the head. Here, too, everyone affected reacts differently to increases in blood pressure and fluctuations in blood pressure and feels the pain differently, in different places. In the worst case, high blood pressure only becomes noticeable when it is the cause of, or is involved in, the triggering of cerebral hemorrhages in previously damaged cerebral vessels.

Most of the time, the symptoms appear suddenly and with great intensity. In this case, it is imperative that you see a doctor and have the symptoms clarified by a doctor. Since changes in the blood vessels occur in high blood pressure, there is an increased risk of a stroke with the associated symptoms.

Inner unrest

Inner restlessness, also in combination with insomnia, can indicate high blood pressure. however, it is rarely associated with high blood pressure.

If patients suffer from inner restlessness, this is often a state of emotionally turbulent circumstances. Which can also be accompanied by excitement and feelings of tension. The patients feel helpless, hopeless and also complain of difficulty concentrating, rapid exhaustion, sometimes a depressive mood up to fear and stroke disorders.

These types of symptoms can also be caused by substances that cause vivid cognitive disturbances, such as ingestion of so-called hallucinogens. Not to be confused with inner restlessness is the motoric restlessness that often occurs, with a restless need for movement that can hardly be satisfied. This usually shows up with increased inner excitability.


Trembling means contractions of opposing muscle groups that are not influenced or triggered by the will.

It usually occurs with alcohol withdrawal, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycaemia and agitation, as well as neurological diseases.

It is important to distinguish whether the tremor occurs at rest or with targeted or non-targeted movements.

With high blood pressure, tremors are as unspecific a symptom as most others. As a rule, it does not occur with high blood pressure; However, if the high blood pressure rises acutely above 230/120 mmHg, the tremor can be a symptom of a hypertensive crisis, which usually occurs in the context of untreated high blood pressure.

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Shortness of breath

High blood pressure does not usually cause shortness of breath. However, if the patient has already suffered from consequential damage from high blood pressure or heart disease associated with high blood pressure, difficulty breathing can occur when exercising.

Then the patient should immediately consult a doctor and the Have the cause of the shortness of breath determined. Mostly the shortness of breath occurs when climbing stairs, sporting activities or other physical stress in everyday life, such as cleaning or carrying heavy objects.

Chest pain

Chest pain is not a symptom of high blood pressure, but in association with it it can be a sign of secondary diseases and / or diseases of the cardiovascular system.

Usually these show up as a tightness in the chest area, like a belt that is tied around the chest.

These occur particularly during exertion, right up to spontaneous pain and so-called death pain, such as a heart attack. The pain can radiate into the lower jaw, one or both arms and often into the upper abdomen, or it can only be felt there. Chest pain of unknown cause should therefore be clarified by a doctor.

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Feeling of pressure in the head

There can be various causes behind a feeling of pressure in the head. The exact location of the pressure in the head area is important in order to better identify it.

It is important to assess whether the pressure (only) occurs in stressful situations, such as drooping the head or bending forward - whether additional symptoms such as dizziness or nausea occur. If there is an acute cold or sinus infection at the same time, this is more likely to be the cause.

If you experience recurring feelings of pressure for no explainable reason, you should regularly check your blood pressure.


Heart palpitations can occur in high pressure crises, i.e. when the blood pressure suddenly skyrockets. Often with values ​​above 230 / 120mmHg. This can u. a. occur in an existing but untreated chronic high blood pressure.

Other causes can be the occurrence of extra beats of the heart, called extrasystoles, with overactive thyroid and heart defects.

Racing heart

Palpitations can occur as a result of cardiac arrhythmias or severe psychological stress. If the heart gets out of step and beats too fast, the patient often experiences this as a racing heart. A racing heart is not associated with high blood pressure, but is the cause of other ailments.

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Increased blood pressure can destroy vessels in our blood circulation, especially the small branches and branches of the smallest vessels are particularly at risk. Because their walls are particularly thin. A permanently high blood pressure leads to bleeding of fine vessels, such as those found in the interior of the nose.

Above all, the vessels that supply the nasal septum and the upper nasal cavity can break if the pressure is constantly high and start bleeding profusely.


Sweating is caused by the increased secretion of sweat, through which the body gives off heat to the environment and at the same time cools the skin from the outside.

Triggering diseases can be, for example, hyperthyroidism, chronic stress and permanent stress, such as Anxiety.

Permanently elevated high blood pressure can also lead to sweating, but it is a very unspecific symptom here.


Dizziness is usually a symptom associated with a drop in blood pressure and not when it rises too much, as is the case with high blood pressure.

Dizziness is more common when the heart does not produce enough output. For example, through a slower heart rate because the blood flow to the brain is no longer guaranteed.

Or as a side effect when drugs such as ß-blockers, which lower the heart rate, or which lower the blood pressure, are given.

Other causes can be blood loss / or anemia various damage to the balance organ of the ear.

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sleep disorders

Sleep disorders can occur both with high blood pressure and with blood pressure below the norm.

Sleep disorders can also e.g. occur with an overactive thyroid, which can also indirectly cause an increase in blood pressure.

The symptom is therefore very unspecific.

Many other causes speak more strongly in favor of sleep disorders, such as cardiac arrhythmias, strokes, heart attacks, heart failure or cognitive disorders.

In the case of high blood pressure, it is not clear whether this really leads to sleep disorders.

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Symptoms in Children

In general, high blood pressure in children can be completely symptom-free for years. Therefore, in the event of symptoms such as recurring headaches, dizziness, reduced performance, ringing in the ears, frequent nosebleeds, sleep disorders, atypical nausea and vomiting up to visual disturbances, the blood pressure should be measured and clarified on three different days. There is no clear limit value here, as is the case with adults, since the values ​​depend on age, height and weight.

If there is also a narrowing of the aorta (main artery of the body) symptoms such as cold feet and leg pain can occur during the night.

Sudden high blood pressure with values ​​well above the 95th percentile can cause visual disturbances and seizures. Which symptom occurs when and from which blood pressure values ​​varies greatly from person to person